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Ruth Jessen

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Ruth Jessen, thirty-year veteran of the LPGA Tour, passed away in Phoenix, AZ, on Friday, September 21, 2007 at the age of 70. In her later years, Ruth was a teaching professional at Camelback Golf Club and White Mountain Country Club, who possessed the passion of a true competitor and the patience of a gifted instructor. She was a native of Seattle, Washington, where she began her golf career as a youngster. Her countless accomplishments include: medallist in the 1953 U.S. Girls' Junior Championship, winner of the 1954 Washington Women's Amateur and Pacific Northwest Women's Amateur, which she won again in 1955. When Ruth turned professional in 1955, she quickly won the hearts and admiration of tour fans and players. Ruth achieved 11 LPGA tournament wins, five of them in 1964, and was runner-up twice in the U.S. Women's Open. Her last tournament victory came in 1971, at the Sears Classic in Port St. Lucie, Florida. That same year, Ruth was awarded the Ben Hogan Award by the Golf Writers Association of America for her incredible comeback after a series of injury and health related setbacks. Ruth's final year on the LPGA Tour was 1985 and until her death, continued passing on her enthusiasm for golf and life to countless students, friends, and fans. Ruth's grace, competitiveness, and humor are legendary; it was this zest for life that is her legacy. She is survived by sister Marilyn, (husband Everett) of Snohomish, WA, sister Sharon Ivester (husband Floyd) of Lake Forest Park, WA, and brother J. Wayne Jessen of Kirkland, WA. A public memorial celebration of Ruth's life will be held at Camelback Golf Club on Friday, September 28, 2007 at 2:00 p.m., 7847 North Mockingbird Lane, Scottsdale, AZ. In lieu of flowers, donations in Ruth's honor may be made to the ASU Women's Golf Team, by checks payable to "Sun Angel Foundation" and sent to ASU Women's Golf, Ruth Jessen Memorial, P.O. Box 872505, Tempe, AZ 85287-2505.
Published in The Arizona Republic from Sept. 26 to Sept. 27, 2007
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