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Ruza Courtney

1920 - 2020
Ruza Courtney Obituary
Ruza Courtney January 2, 1920 - January 31, 2020 Formerly of San Diego With loving memories and heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Ruza Courtney in Pacific Grove, California. Ruza was the second child of Vinzenz Augustin and Sophie Krassnig and was raised in Graz, Austria. She was a good student and a compassionate and loving mother, daughter, sister, aunt and friend. While in high school, she became an accomplished skier and athlete and developed a love and passion for the alpine outdoors which endured through her entire life. Ruza studied English, Simultaneous Translation and Photography at the University of Vienna but her studies were interrupted by World War II. She told her family harrowing accounts of widespread food scarcity, hiding in bomb shelters and the loss of many cherished friends. Her experience as a survivor of the war instilled a deep sense of gratitude, courage and optimism which would see her through many challenging times in her life. In 1954 she met her husband, William Courtney, in Frankfurt, Germany, and would return with him several years later to the United States to raise her only child, Barbara. While in Toledo, Ohio, Ruza perfected her English, honed her skills as a fine tennis and bridge player, became a docent at the Toledo Art Museum and created a comfortable and inviting home for entertaining Bill's business clients and their many friends. In 1973 the family re-located to San Diego, California, where Ruza discovered a renewed sense of purpose, pride and success by establishing a mid-life career as a National Tour Director for American Tours International. She adored and excelled at her new profession as it incorporated her tremendous skills for languages, organization, communication, enthusiasm and passion for travel. She never tired of sharing the history and many scenic wonders of the United States with foreign tourists who were discovering America for the first time. She loved her adopted country and was beloved by work colleagues and her many tour clients for over 25 years. Ruza made wonderful and lasting friendships in San Diego. Many of her closest friends were also European and shared a love for music, culture, fine food, conversation and travel. She was revered for her kindness, compassion, generosity and a beautiful smile. She would drop food at your door, invite you for lunch or bake you a cake at the drop of a hat. Giving to others was truly more important than receiving. And her Austrian Christmas cookies were legendary and coveted throughout La Jolla every December. Ruza is survived by daughter Barbara Jashinski (Mike), nieces and nephews Astrid, Klaus, Christian, great-nieces, Claudia, (Martin and Mo), Alex and Daniela. Special thanks go to her loving and wonderful caregivers, Dr. Scott Schneiderman and the nurses and staff at Heartland Hospice. In lieu of flowers, she would have liked her friends to make a contribution to the ASPCA or a . A private memorial service will be held at a later date.
Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Feb. 9, 2020
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