Ruth Edna StrangMarch 20, 1929 ~ July 9, 2017 (age 88)
Ruth Edna (Boynton) Strang, of Sunnyside, Wa, went to be with our Lord on Sunday, July 9, 2017. She was 88 years old. She was a regular member of the United Methodist Church in Sunnyside, WA, and will long be remembered for her friendly, outgoing and caring nature. Ruth was born on March 20, 1929 in Dixon, Illinois. She graduated from Dixon High School, then went to the Swedish American School of Nursing and became a Registered Nurse. It was during this time, on a blind date, she met the love of her life, Francis “Flick” Strang. She married him on May 26, 1951. It was a vivacious and strong marriage that lasted over 50 years. They began their lives together in Lindenwood, Illinois, surrounded by both of their large extended families. It was a busy time for her, as they had 4 children to raise. Ruth worked in the home as well as nursing in Rochelle hospital; Flick worked construction by day and also pursued a teaching degree by night. At one point, Ruth supported the family while Flick completed his degree full time. It was in 1962 that Ruth's love of adventure manifested. She and Flick decided to explore options in Washington State. They'd seen magazine pictures of the beautiful rain forests of Washington and decided they wanted to live there. So Ruth and Flick packed up their belongings into a Ford Fairlane, and with 4 children in tow, and no job prospects, they launched out for the unknown. Flick's first teaching position landed them in Mabton, not exactly what the National Geographic picture had portrayed. However, they stayed there 4 years and made many good friends. Ruth was a stay-at-home mom, and worked part-time at the Prosser Hospital. Flick's teaching also took them to Canyonville, OR for a year, and finally the family settled in White Swan, Wa, where Ruth resided until after Flick had passed away. Ruth was an active supporter of all her children's schooling and extracurricular activites. Although a time came when the nest was empty, she never allowed her life to become so. Ruth continued her love for hiking as she explored nearby Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams and Mt. Baker. Being an RN, she was devoted to caring for not only her family, but had a special affinity for the elderly. She worked at the Sunnyside Nursing Home, Parkside Nursing Home in Union Gap, the Indian Health Agency, and Emerald Circle Convalescent in Wapato. After retiring, volunteer work throughout the valley continued to keep her active. She donated blood regularly with Red Cross, and was a volunteer teaching assistant to youngsters in both her daughter's and granddaughter's classroom. She had a great love of photography, sports, reading, hiking, and biking. Her hobbies provided her with an extensive collection of pictures and journals of her travels to Ireland, Czechoslavakia, the Dalmatian coast, Slovenia, Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, and, most memorably, her hike to Machu Picchu in Peru at the age of 74. Ruth was also recognized for her many years of active support for MS, with her last biking marathon at age 80, prominently chronicled by the Yakima Herald. The position in which she most recently excelled, however, was in volunteering with hospice patients. Her love and support of people inspired friendships from around the world.
Ruth was preceded in death by her husband in 2002. She is survived by her four children: John (and spouse, Roz) of Cowiche; Flicka (Tim – deceased) Arquette of Wapato; Doris (Jeff) Matson of Sunnyside; and Mary (Paris) Bottoni of Maumee, Ohio. She also is survived by 7 grandchildren: Melissa Arquette of Sunnyside; Robin (Thomas) Derouin of Wapato; Ian (Erin) Strang of Bellingham; Lisa Matson of Puyallup; Laura Matson of Phoenix, AZ: Lydia (Alan) Ohman of Columbus, OH; and Allison Bottoni of Columbus, OH. In addition, Ruth was great grandmother to Oliver Strang of Bellingham and Dominic Ohman of Columbus, OH. She leaves numerous extended family members, their children and countless friends. Ruth bequeathed a family legacy of love, service and care that will be commemorated for years to come.
A celebration of life will be held Sunday, July 30, 2017, at 5pm at the United Methodist Church in Sunnyside. The Reverend Pat Beeman will officiate. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, any memorials be made to Heartlinks Hospice, 3920 Outlook Rd, Sunnyside, WA. 98944 or Sunnyside United Methodist Church, 906 E Edison Ave, Sunnyside, WA 98944. Those wishing to sign Ruth’s online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com Smith Funeral Home in care of arrangements.