Lasting Memories

W. Ruth West
June 28, 1918-Jan. 24, 2013
Renton, Washington

Submitted by Debbie Friant

Wilma Ruth West, age 94, died of complications from pancreatic cancer on January 24, 2013. She lost her daughter, Kaye West, to cancer in April of 2012.

She is survived by her 3 grandchildren, Debbie Friant, Kari Lambert and Erik Wordal; her 9 great-grandchildren, David Black, Adam Yates, Christopher Lambert, Erik Lambert, Reidar Wordal, Brit Wordal, Elsie Wordal, Siri Wordal and Kjertsi Wordal; and her great-great grandchildren, Tyler Davis, Tigen Black and Micah Black.

Ruth lived a full and colorful life. She lived in Woodside from 1963-2005 as a loyal member of the community. She worked at the Woodside Library, was a room-mother for Woodside Elementary School, worked at the Stage Stop, worked for prominent families in the community as administrator of the home and was "Granny Goose" to countless young people as they grew up.

She was an avid artist, mostly painting in oil. In the last two years of her life, it was the one thing that brought her the most joy and helped her when she missed California.

Her love of life will be missed by all. Although 2 years ago she moved to Washington to be near her granddaughter, Debbie Friant, she never lost her love of Woodside and the many memories that living there gave her.

We love you gramma! May you rest in peace. Your memory will live forever.

Memorial services will be taking place graveside at Skylawn Memorial Park sometime in the month of March. If interested in attending please contact Debbie Friant at

Ruth?s great grandson, Adam Yates, will be moving to Ethiopia later this year to work with the Christian Health Service Corp. His wife, Michelle, is a physician and will be teaching physicians at Soddo Christian Hospital. In lieu of flowers, please make a tax deductible donation to this organization. Ruth wanted to partner with them in support and would be so pleased with your support. To donate please go to . You can learn more about her great-grandson?s plans by clicking on the link to his blog at the bottom of the page.

From Margo Leino
March 7, 2013

My sympathy to all of Ruth's family and friends. I met her at a painting class in Paradise, CA years ago. She was a great cook, talented artist and always helpful. Her paintings were cheerful, bright and beautiful. A true reflection of her personality I will miss you my friend. Rest in peace.

From Cheri Norum Derohanian
Feb. 27, 2013

Ruth was a wonderful free spirit. She was self taught in the arts and horticulture. Ruth was always there for you if you needed a firend or a kind word. I have very fond memories of going to both the old Getty Museum with Ruth and Debbie in 1976 and the new Getty Museum with Ruth in 1999. Having Ruth along was like being guided through the artwork and gardens by an expert. We corresponded by letters for the last 20 years and I will miss her writings and friendship dearly.

From Donna Brownell
Feb. 11, 2013

Ruth was one of the most memorable people in my life. Right from the start, we were friends, and I could trust her to always be honest with me. In this day and age of pretense and lack of authenticity, Ruth was truly herself and shared with all of us her love of life. I miss her terribly, yet the memories make me laugh out loud as I recall them....and there are so many of them! My good friend, you have meant so much to me and you inspired me to never give up, no matter what. Thank you for that, and so much more.

From Lynne Stefanetti
Feb. 6, 2013

Ruth, such style and panache. She loved her painting and usually had it everywhere. As artists we could always count on her to tell what she thought of our work. She was one to never hold back and we loved her for it. She was a very loyal friend and everything about Ruth was just , what can I say, it was just Ruth. We all just loved her. Photos of Ruth at a LOTA meeting.Keep that brush wet Ruth. Happy Painting up there.

From Lynne Stefanetti
Feb. 6, 2013

Ruth loved to paint and it went everywhere. She loved to cook and was good at it.. She was such an enthusiastic person. When we had critiques at our LOTA meetings you could always count on Ruth for an honest opinion. We valued her and she was a loyal friend. She just loved life. The photos are at a LOTA meeting. Keep that brush wet up there .

From Erik Wordal
Feb. 5, 2013

Gramma was sometimes loud, usually opinionated, but always loving to her family. She took care of us when our Mom had to work...made a lot of hamburgers and waffles for us, and made sure we were fed and clothed. I have many nice memories of her and will never forget how she cared for me.

From Debbie Friant
Feb. 5, 2013

Gramma was a happy person

From Gordon Wordal
Feb. 4, 2013

Ruth was an interesting mother-in-law. We went back and forth many times.. She did bring happiness to my children which I am happy for. May she rest in peace.

From Madeleine Brewer
Feb. 4, 2013

Ruth was one of a kind. She always had such interesting tales to tell and I was an avid listener. She had so much spirit even as she got older and had health problems she never let them interfere with her love of life. She was so exuberant about everything, her painting, her everyday experiences, about life itself. I considered her to be a very dear friend and I will miss her dearly. Rest in peace dear friend and don't spill too much paint on those white clouds up there.

From Aldean Keefer
Feb. 4, 2013

Talk about an optimist! Ruth was a bubbling fountain of cheer with a tube of paint to color it with. Nobody painted as much or like she did, nor enjoyed it any more than she did. I'll always regret that I didn't write her more often than I did when she was in Washington. Rest in peace, dear girl.

From Mimi Johnson
Feb. 2, 2013

I am so happy to have known Ruth West. She loved giving us compliments as well as constructive ideas when we would get together for "LOTA" Ladies of the Arts. She lived a colorful and full life!