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Ruth Elaine Johnson

Ruth Elaine Johnson Ruth Elaine Johnson (Stedman) was born September 14, 1925 in Eugene, Oregon to Francis (Frank) and Edna Stedman. She was the ninth of twelve children - two boys and ten girls. In 1930, the family moved to Priest River, Idaho and then finally to Tumwater in 1938. She stayed a resident of Tumwater for over seventy years. Not long after arriving in Tumwater, she met her future husband, John Johnson, at a grange hall dance. They married when she was sixteen. At age eighteen, she became pregnant with her first son, Terry, and gave birth to him while John was overseas during World War II. Soon after returning from the War, Ruth and John had two more sons, Rodney and Mark. In 1948, they built and moved into their house at the top of Tumwater Hill. It would be their residence for over sixty years. Ruth was a stay-at-home mom until the boys were in high school. She then took a job at Miller's Department Store in downtown Olympia and then moved to a position at the Department of Social and Health Services until she retired. Following John's passing in 2009, Ruth moved to the Hearthstone Assisted Living facility in Seattle and stayed there until she passed away on December 30 2013. She was 88. Ruth and John enjoyed time at the Elk's Club, dancing and socializing with friends. They also spent a lot of time at their cabin in Sekiu, collecting antiques and later, enjoying their grandchildren. She was a great home-maker and always had a spotless home and very much enjoyed gardening. Ruth was fun to be around and took belly dancing lessons and even Swedish lessons to be able to understand John's Swedish relatives. During her last years, she took great pleasure in going out for pizza and beer. She was also a big football fan, watching the Huskies and Seahawks whenever she could. Ruth loved to travel and visited England, France, Germany and China, as well as places in the U. S. Although she traveled to many different destinations, one of her disappointments was that she never was able to travel to New York and go to Radio City Music Hall and see the Rockettes. Ruth was an incredible in all of the roles that she played: wife, mom, sister, aunt, grandmother and friend. Gentle and friendly, she was a joy to talk to. She loved her family immensely and was always appreciative of any time that her family would spend with her. She also loved her brothers and sisters and their children and very much enjoyed visits by them. Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, John, and son, Rodney. She leaves two sons, Terry (Pat) Johnson and Mark (Susie) Johnson, as well as five grandchildren, Kristen Ross, Brian Johnson, Katie (Tom) Berge, Sophia Johnson and Mallory Johnson, as well as six great-grandchildren. A Celebration of Life service will be held on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 1:00 PM at the Schmidt House - 330 Schmidt Place S. W. in Tumwater.


Published in The Olympian on Jan. 12, 2014
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