Nettie Ruth (Council) Brown of Hood River died Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, at her home at Hawks Ridge Assisted Living Center in Hood River, Ore. She was 92-years-old.
Ruth was born on Dec. 26, 1925, in Badin, Stanly, N.C., to David James and Blanche (Burdette) Council. Ruth was the third of seven daughters, five of whom pre-deceased her. She grew up in Badin and went to Badin High School, where she started on the girls basketball team and graduated at 16 in 1941.
Ruth had wanted to be a registered nurse since childhood, but you had to be at least 17 and a half to apply to nursing school. From 16 to 17 and a half, she and a girlfriend moved to New York City to study radio engineering. After turning 17 and a half and finishing her training, she entered nurse training at Highsmith Hospital in Fayetteville, N.C., and was a member of the Nurse Cadet Corps. She took advanced psychiatric training at Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh, N.C., graduating as a Registered Nurse in 1946. In 1955, Ruth began training to become a nurse anesthetist at Duke University. She finished her training at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, Wash., in 1956.
She met her future husband, Ralph Earnest Brown, while he was in the Army at jump school learning to become a paratrooper in Fayetteville, N.C. They met while she was serving as a junior hostess at a YWCA dance. Ralph returned to Oregon after the end of World War II and Ruth soon followed. They were married Jan. 21, 1947, at the Newman Methodist Church in Grants Pass, Ore. Their first son, Jim, was born March 2, 1948, in Grants Pass; their second son, Jerry, was born May 27, 1950, in Havre, Mont., and their third son, Ralph, was born Oct. 9, 1956, in Coos Bay, Ore.
Ruth and Ralph lived in Oregon from 1947-1948; from 1949-1956, they lived in Havre and Malta, Mont., where Ruth worked as a registered nurse. In 1956, they moved to Coos Bay, where she worked as a nurse anesthetist at McCauley Hospital, moving in 1959 to Klamath Falls, Ore., to work at the Klamath Falls Hospital. In 1966, they moved to Grants Pass, where she worked at Southern Oregon Hospital and was the head of anesthesiology, the intensive care unit and inhalation therapy at the same time. Ruth retired from anesthesia in 1976.
In 1987, Ruth and Ralph moved to Mosier, Ore., where they retired. After Ralph’s death in 1998, Ruth moved to Hood River. They were active members of the Hood River Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Hood for over 30 years.
She is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law, James C. and Tamie (Wright) Brown of West Linn, Ore., and Jerry and Dawn (Penny) Brown of Hood River; her sister, Toni (Council) Harrison of Badin, N.C.; and her nine grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1825 May St., Hood River. Interment will follow at the Pine Grove Butte Cemetery, 2687 Van Horn Drive, Hood River. All are welcome to return the church for a light lunch following the graveside service.
Remembrances are suggested to Providence Hospice of the Gorge in memory of Ruth C. Brown, C/O Anderson’s Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, OR 97031.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center. Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.
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