Ruth Volkmann, of Shoreline, WA, Eugene, OR, and Castine, ME passed away peacefully in her sleep on June 15, 2013. Born in Boston on Sept 20, 1930, Ruthie lived her life on her own terms. She was a well known artist best recognized for her unique style, which she called "modern primitive." She expressed her love of New England and the northwest coast, mountains, and nature through her artwork. She attended Putney School in Vermont and graduated from Reed College and Portland Museum Art School in Portland, Oregon. As a young adult Ruthie lived alone in Vermont and in the late 1960's she drove across the United States in a VW convertible. Landing in Eugene, OR to join friends, Ruthie taught art in public schools in New England and in Oregon for 12 years before dedicating herself to being a full-time artist. In 1981 she moved from Eugene to the Seattle area and when she bought a small cabin in Shoreline she walked into the local grocery store and demanded to speak to the manager. When asked if there was a problem, she said simply that she had just moved into the neighborhood and wanted him to know who she was. Every employee greeted her by name from then on. Ruthie's own doctor described her as a fine loaf of French bread: hard and crusty on the outside and warm, soft, and delicious on the inside. That was Ruthie. She joins her parents Mary and James Volkmann of Concord, MA, her brothers Gordon and Dennison Volkmann of MA, and her niece Susan Volkmann of CA. Ruthie's many friends, her sisters Ann Dick of Salt Lake City and Elizabeth Louise Young of Atlanta as well as a herd of nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews and 2 great grands all miss her. There will be a memorial gathering at 2:30 PM at the First Lutheran Church, 10207 NE 183rd St, Bothell, WA 98011 on Saturday, September 14, 2013. Donations to honor her memory may be given to Freight House Square Art Gallery In Tacoma WA or to Frye Museum in Seattle.
Published in The Seattle Times on Sep. 2, 2013.