Ruth K. Tanaka

Ruth K. Tanaka

Ruth Kobayashi Tanaka died peacefully at home from heart failure in Cottonwood, Arizona on Feb. 4, 2013 at 90 years of age.

Ruth was born in Tacoma, Washington to Tomokichi Kajikawa and Masako Ono. Her birth name was Kiyoko Kajikawa, and later she was adopted by her stepfather, George Kobayashi, and given the name Ruth Kiyoko Kobayashi. She graduated from Baker Senior High School in Baker, Oregon and thereafter attended Boise Jr. College in Boise, Idaho. That is where she met Thomas, and they were married on February 16, 1946. In 1948, they settled in Seattle, Washington. They raised their sons there, and Tom and Ruth owned and operated apartment houses and other businesses. In 1983 they moved to Redlands, California where they purchased and managed an antiques store.

In May, 2011, they visited Cottonwood, Arizona as a retirement option where they could be closer to family, and immediately fell in love with the town. Here, Ruth enjoyed making new friends, the Arizona sunshine and reading outside.

She is survived by her husband Thomas and sons Thomas Jr. and Kenneth, sisters Grace Shigeno and Carol Weininger, and grandson Luke Singer and granddaughter Michelle Tanaka.

Published in The Seattle Times from Feb. 14 to Feb. 15, 2013