Ruth Margaret Wittkopf died of a stroke on June 13, 2018, at the age of 99 in Portland, Ore. She was surrounded by her husband and four children.
Ruth was born in Hood River, Ore., on Nov. 24, 1918, to Edward Dresser and Marie (Mohr) Dresser. Her grandfather was Peter Mohr and she grew up on an orchard in Pine Grove that was the portion of his homestead that was inherited by Marie. Ruth attended Pine Grove Elementary School and Hood River High School, graduating in 1937.
It was in the Hood River Valley that she developed a love of the outdoors, including camping, hiking and fishing. She liked to tell stories about her country upbringing and she was proud of having climbed Mount Hood with some schoolmates after her senior year.
Ruth attended Oregon State University, where she met Jack Wittkopf. They married on July 3, 1942, and enjoyed a devoted marriage for 76 years. While they lived in Corvallis, Ore., and then southern California for a number of years, it was the 47 years in their Mariposa, Calif., home near Yosemite that Ruth especially loved. She loved the giant trees on their 27 acres, and the birds, deer, squirrels, turkeys and other wildlife that roamed the property. She was always a country girl at heart and loved their return visits to Hood River to visit family.
During the Mariposa years, Ruth was active in their cedar home construction business. To indulge their love of the outdoors and fishing, they spent lots of time camping and fishing the lakes of the High Sierras. Also, for 25 years they traveled each summer to Vancouver Island, Canada, where they fished, ate salmon and made new friends from all over. Those long summers were some of Ruth’s favorites — her nickname was “Mermaid” after she fell out of their boat into the ocean and had to be “fished out” by Jack.
Ruth took great pride and joy in her family and she was a sweet, wonderful mother who was dearly loved by her family. She and Jack celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary with extended family at their Mariposa home last summer. Last November, they moved to Portland to be near two of their daughters.
Ruth lived a wonderful life — long, healthy and happy. She almost made it to 100 years! She is missed every day by those who loved her. She is survived by her husband, Jack Wittkopf; her children, Janie Brown and Sandy Wittkopf-Amo of Portland, Peggy Harvey of Weiser, Idaho, and Jim Wittkopf of Mariposa; five grandchildren, including Stephanie Pickering of Parkdale, Ore.; seven great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.
A funeral Mass will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Hood River on Aug. 10 at 3 p.m.
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