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Ruth Scheffler

May 21, 1930 ~ July 5, 2018 (age 88)

Ruth Scheffler was born on May 21, 1930, in Sembach, Germany, as the second of five children born to Hugo and Susanne Scheffler.  Her father, a Mennonite pastor, and her mother, an accomplished homemaker, were able to create a warm, loving family environment in which Ruth, her three sisters and her younger brother flourished.  Though Ruth was more introverted than her outgoing older sister, Eva was her best friend.  After surviving the horrors of World War II, Ruth and her family immigrated to the United States.  They made the crossing on the legendary Queen Mary, landing in New York City, and came west to settle in Ritzville, Washington.  All four sisters went to work to pay off travel debts and to learn English.  Ruth had an aptitude for numbers and landed a job at a bank. She maintained this job after moving to Bellingham working her way up to the position of trust officer at Seattle First National Bank, a position she held until she retired at 52.  Ruth never married and had no children, which left her much time to spend with her adoring nieces and nephews and to pursue her many passions – hiking, photography, driving, sewing, crafts, collecting antiques, reading, and entertaining friends and family.  She was active in her church and community, supporting many missionary families and charities, and building strong ties with many friends who came to see her as family.  Ruth was dedicated to her family, looking after her parents in Bellingham for many years.  After her father died in 1977 and Eva’s husband in 1981, Ruth, Eva and their mother moved in together. They spent many happy hours entertaining, gardening, reading, visiting friends, remaining active in the church, and establishing a new sense of community.  Ruth and Eva were able to care for their mother at home until her death in 2001.  They continued to live together, becoming inseparable as sisters and best friends.  They outlived both of their younger sisters, losing Hildegard in 2007 and Gertraud in 2014.  The years since Eva’s death in 2015 were full of challenging transitions, as Ruth moved out of her beautiful home and had to give up her beloved car.  Fiercely independent, it took her time to accept these changes but once she was able to do so, she approached her failing health with grace, gratitude, her trademark spunk and mischievous grin, incredible warmth and love, and growing anticipation for the journey ahead, in which she could finally join her beloved sisters and brother, her parents and her Lord.  Ruth died peacefully on July 5, 2018. Ruth is survived by her two brothers -in-law, Werner Dirks and Helmut Lemke, and her nephews and nieces and their families: Chris and Heather Dirks, Will and Sylvia Dirks (Jane, Amy), Renata and Howie Adan (Miriam, Sarah, Hannah, Eva), Sue Dirks-Hanstke (Tamar), Michael and Tannis Lemke (Madison, Tobin), Krista Lemke and Lisa Hayes (Justin) and Hanno and Anna Lemke (Tomas).

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