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Ruth G. Durham

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Ruth G. Durham Obituary
Ruth G. Durham

Ruth Durham was born in Halsa, Norway in 1920 to Edward and Maria Magnussen. Ruth was educated there as a dietician and worked in that field. In 1957, she came to Seattle and served as a dietician at Virginia Mason, Firland Sanatorium and at the Norse Home.

She was married to Jim Durham for 40 years. In Burien they turned an old house into a generous estate with their own hands.

Ruth was active in Seattle's Norwegian community. She was a member of Leif Erikson Lodge Sons of Norway and Valkyrien Lodge, Daughters of Norway, and was instrumental in the founding of Solveig Lodge in Burien. She loved books, Norwegian craft and history. The Seventeenth of May celebration was dear to her heart. Many years she designed the elegant ceramic pin that commemorated the signing of the Norwegian Constitution. She was Honorary Marshall for the Seventeenth of May Parade in Ballard in 2001, and also has served as a judge on the reviewing stand. Ruth danced with the Leikarring of Leif Erikson Lodge, and volunteered in the lodge library. The librarian liked to consider Ruth her lexicon of all things Norwegian.

Solveig Lodge Daughters of Norway in Burien was her home lodge, and here she was a teacher and inspiration to all. Ruth was an expert in Norwegian history and culture, and taught her lodge sisters the songs, cuisine, and crafts of Norway. She was skilled in spinning, weaving, knitting, embroidery, and rosemal painting. She created, in her home, a superb collection of Norwegian folk art.

Ruth loved her life here. She liked to travel, especially to Hawaii, and she and Jim drove the Alcan Highway to Alaska, a trip they enjoyed very much.

Ruth passed away Dec. 6, 2012. She is survived by her loving husband Jim and his children: David Durham (wife Cheryl), daughter Karen Caldwell, and their children; and her family in Norway: her niece Marny Magnussen, five other nieces and nephews, and 11 grandnieces and grandnephews. Ruth will be greatly missed by her many friends in the Seattle area.

Memorial donations may be made to Leif Erikson Lodge Educational Foundation, or to the Salvation Army.
Published in The Seattle Times on Dec. 16, 2012
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