Ruth Evelyn Nelson, 84, passed away Tuesday, April 21, 2015 in Portland, Ore. Ruth was born April 16, 1931, in Chehalis, Wash., to Earl Leigh “Pat” Middaugh and Cora (McClintok).
Ruth attended college at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash., and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in education. She then went on to acquire a Master of Science in special education at Oregon College of Education (now Western Oregon State University) in Monmouth, Ore. Beginning her professional career as an elementary teacher, Ruth had teaching experience in public schools in the states of Washington, Oregon and North Carolina. After a sudden hearing loss at the age of 30, she became involved in activities pertaining to the deaf, returned to college to complete certification requirements for becoming a teacher of the deaf and taught deaf students at both the elementary and secondary level. She has been an instructor on the staff at Oregon State University and a teacher of hearing impaired in the physically handicapped program of the Corvallis public schools. Ruth was also an instructor in both the Education of the Deaf and Counseling of the Deaf programs at WOSC.
Ruth was an accomplished pianist and enjoyed many sports including golf and tennis. She was a loyal member of the Eastern Star and American Association of University Women. She loved cats and had one always in her life. Ruth suffered a stroke at age 47 which cut her career short. Despite her disability, she lived independently for over 30 years. She had many friends and was known for her smile, her laughter and positive outlook.
She is survived by her three children: Nannette Nelson, of Vancouver, Wash., Eric Nelson (Debra), of Kent, Wash., and Elda Orr (Doug), of Hood River. She has five grandchildren: Tyler, Ian, Amelie, Carson and Lauren.
Her four brothers, Wyman, Don, Merritt and Darwin, and one sister, Elda, preceded her in death.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 16, at Claquato Cemetery, 142 Stearns Road, Chehalis, WA 98532.
Donations may be made in Ruth’s name to the Oregon Humane Society, 1067 N.E. Columbia Blvd., Portland, OR 97211.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont Avenue, Hood River, OR 97031. Please visit andersonstributecenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.
Condolences are being received online.
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