Ruth Marjorie (Franz) SAWATZKY

Ruth was born in Lacombe, Alberta. In 1947 her family moved to Abbotsford, B.C. During her married life she lived in Prince Rupert, Vancouver, Abbotsford, Williams Lake, Spences Bridge, Penticton, Smithers and finally Nelson. Here she and Frank bought a house at 6 Mile on Barnes Road just a short walk to Kootenay Lake. With children Reg, Darlene, Brian and James they finally settled down to a permanent home. It didn’t take Ruth long to get involved in the community doing volunteer work.

In 1980 Ruth went to college to get her nursing degree, and she graduated in 1982. She started work at Kootenay Lake Hospital in Nelson and then transferred to Mt. St. Francis where she worked until she retired in April 2000.

Ruth spent many years as a Director for the Crisis Pregnancy Center and as a volunteer for the Teen Crisis Center. She was active in her Church and gave many hours of her time caring for others.

Ruth’s passion was the great outdoors. She joined a hiking club and after that there was no stopping her. She made lifetime friends with this group. Nelson and surrounding areas abound with trails to hike and they left none unturned. Jumbo Pass, Kokanee Glacier, Earl Grey, Fry Creek, Toad Mountain, Idaho Peak, Cody Caves and Pulpit Rock, where she took almost everyone who came to visit. Ruth hiked the West Coast Trail twice, and the Chilcott Trail in 2003. She went to Whitehorse to be a Guide Counsellor for her grandaughter Melissa. Numerous Bloomsday runs, flag carrier for the BC winter games, trips to Mt. St. Helens, Hawaii, Mexico, Spain and Carribean and Alaska cruises.

Ruth was diagnosed with lung cancer in August 2003. She was predeceased by her father in 1993 and grandson Steven in 1984. As an expression of sympathy family and friends can make a donation in Ruth’s name to the Canadian Lung Cancer Society Research at 103 – 175 Vernon St., Nelson, BC phone 250-352-6006.

She leaves behind her husband Frank, daughter Darlene, son Reg (Janice), son Brian (Angela) and son James (Vicki). Grandchildren Jeffrey, Nicole, Sean, Jason, Kevin, Melissa, Tia and Megan. Her mother Helen Franz, two sisters Eileen (Bruce) Harder, Helen (Dick) Krause and one brother Peter (Sandra) Franz, and numerous nieces and nephews. Missed by all and never forgotten.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 pm Friday, November 5, 2004 at the Clayburn Hall, Clayburn Village. A private family graveside service will be held at the Mennonite Section of the Hazelwood Cemetery in Abbotsford, B.C.

Arrangements are under the direction of Thompson Funeral Service Ltd.

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