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Ardith Carol Birdsell


1935 - 2019
Ardith Carol Birdsell Obituary
Ardith Carol Birdsell March 31, 1935 - December 27, 2019 Julian Ardith Birdsell passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and friends on December 27, 2019 after a short illness. Ardith was born on her grandparents' farm in Chasley, North Dakota. Raised primarily in Montana & Washington, she moved to Los Angeles, CA, in 1954. She married Myron William "Bill" Bales in 1955 and had 5 children in 7 years. After their divorce in 1965, Ardith and her children moved to Julian, CA. Ardith held many jobs in Julian: a caregiver, cook, waitress, newspaper deliverer, housekeeper as well as worked at the Julian Hardware Store for over 10 years. In 1971, as a single mother with 5 children, she was able, with the help of her kids and many friends, to build a house in Kentwood, CA. The family had the home for over 40 years. In 1973, she married Roy Birdsell. In 1978, Roy was transferred to Palomar Mountain. Ardith got a job at the Palomar Mountain Observatory Monastery, cooking and cleaning for the astronomers. She retired from Caltech in 1990. She was preceded in death by her husband Roy, her parents Matthew Von Ruden and Ella Lawrence, and her brothers Ed and Tom Von Ruden. She is survived by her sister Bonnie Stillman, sons Kirk (Krys) Bales, Kent Bales, Kris Bales and daughters Kari (John) Bales-Young and Karla (Marshall) Jones, stepchildren Carol Birdsell Robbins and James Birdsell, eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. We all loved Ardith's spirit, courage, ambition and sense of humor. She loved cooking, baking, travel, reading and most of all family and friends. She was a true inspiration to us all and will be dearly missed. Bonham Bros. & Stewart Mortuary and Cremation Services is assisting the family. A celebration of life will be held in March, arrangements pending.
Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Jan. 5, 2020
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