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Ruth M. Wright

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Ruth M. Wright Obituary
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Ruth M. (Heard) Wright on March 4, 2017. Ruth spent the majority of her adult life in Riverside, California, and had a great many family and friends in the area. She moved to Spokane, Washington in 2012 to be closer to her son Ron and his wife Marilyn Wright.
Ruth was born on February 11, 1929, in Ponca City, Oklahoma. Her parents, Waldie and Ella McWatters Heard were jubilant at the birth of their only daughter, as was her brother David. Her father, Waldie was a Master Stone Mason, and the family relocated frequently throughout the Midwest because of the demands of his work. It was while the family was living in Ponca City, as her father was stone mason foreman on the construction of the Marland Mansion, that Ruth came into the world. She always seemed reluctant to claim her Oklahoma roots, citing her brother's birth state of Kansas instead. Many years later Ruth accompanied her brother, David and his wife Barbara, on a trip to Ponca City. She got to view their father's superb workmanship first hand, and seemed more accepting of Oklahoma after she returned.
Ruth spent some of her early years growing up on a small farm in Creswell, Oregon near Eugene, before the family ultimately relocated to Riverside, California. Ruth's education ran the gambit from kindergarten in Ladysmith, British Columbia, to an elementary school in Creswell, and a transfer to Fremont Elementary, followed by Central Junior High School, and finally graduated from Poly High School in Riverside. Ruth also attended Riverside Community College and earned an AA Degree. In another era, her interests in medicine and marine biology might have led to her becoming a doctor or a scientist. Her father wasn't supportive of women having "serious careers", so her schooling was kept to more traditional and practical avenues of study. Ruth participated in a work study program that led to her first job, with Security Pacific Bank. As it would turn out, it would prove to be her only job. Ruth began as a teller, and would ultimately become an Officer with the Bank before she retired 30 years later.
Ruth met the love of her life, William J. "Willie" Wright, at a chance encounter with a group of young Airmen from March Air Force Base. They were all at Fairmount Park in Riverside, and decided to go to a local baseball game together. Ruth loved baseball, and was a big L.A. Dodgers fan. Ruth and Willie were married in the Riverside First Baptist Church in December of 1950. Willie was a B-29 crew member, who flew on 27 missions over Korea during the Korean War. They were eagerly anticipating the birth of their first child in May of 1952, when fate had some drastic changes in store for this happy young couple. Willie, then a B-29 Crew Chief, was involved in a horrific plane crash at March AFB, and was one of the few crewmembers to survive. As Willie fought for his life in the new Burn Ward at the Base Hospital, Ruth was in the delivery room of the same hospital, bringing their son into the world. Ruth would now shoulder the role of bread winner, while caring for her husband and their son. She was always up-beat and optimistic, never complaining about the circumstances life had dealt her. Ruth was a woman of great faith, and a member of the Riverside First Baptist Church. She was a faithful member of their congregation, and sang in the choir for many years. Her strong faith in Jesus Christ sustained her through the many trials she faced in her long life. She loved to serve in whatever capacity she was needed, including 4th grade Sunday school, and felt it an honor to do so. Ruth was active in the American Baptist Women's Ministries, and supported the Baptist missionary efforts.
Ruth also adored gardening, and continued her affinity for her trees and flowers, even when she relocated into a mobile home park. She had a flair for decorating for most any holiday, and really went all out at Christmas time. Ruth loved to get together with family and friends, always there with her trusty camera to record the events of their lives. Her family was the center of her joy and happiness. She found great satisfaction in being a wife, a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, great aunt and a friend.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents Ella and Waldie Heard, her beloved husband William Wright, and her brother David Heard. She is survived by her son Ron and his wife Marilyn Wright, as well as her grandson James and his wife Jennifer Wright, grandson Scott Wright, and her brightest star great grandson Griffin Wright. Additional members of her extended family are Kathy Heard Irving, David Heard Jr., Pam Heard Pousson, Matthew Heard, and Barbara Heard with their families. Ruth will be missed by all who knew her. She was the embodiment of a true believer in Jesus Christ. She followed the example He set for her, loving and serving her fellow man all of her life. Ruth is now enjoying a joyous reunion with those who have gone on ahead of her. It would be safe to assume she was welcomed home by the Lord Himself with a warm hug and the words "Well done thou good and faithful servant!"
In light of Ruth's interest in and advocacy for worthwhile causes, in lieu of flowers a memorial fund in her name was established with Samaritan's Purse (samaritanspurse.org or http://sampur.se/2nJUYsE). She would be pleased to know that her good works were continuing.
Ruth's funeral services will take place at the Riverside First Baptist Church, on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at 11:00am. Pastor Lutz will be conducting the service, with a reception in the Fellowship Hall afterward. Ruth will be interred with her husband William Wright at the Riverside National Cemetery.
Published in Press-Enterprise on Mar. 26, 2017
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