Aug. 22, 1931 — May 4, 2013
Helen Ruth Lewis, Ruthie to her friends and family, was born Aug. 22, 1931, in Cedar Grove, Tenn. She was the sixth of seven children born to Archie Reuben Keele and Willie Frye Keele. Her father died in a trucking accident in 1933 and older brother Wesley assumed the father’s role, which earned Ruthie’s gratitude and praise for life.
When Ruth was 14 her mother and family moved to Granger, and Ruth attended Yakima Valley Academy for two years, then at age 16 she enrolled in Auburn Adventist Academy.
Ruth sang in the choir and chorale at Auburn Adventist Academy and it was on the many music trips that Floyd Lewis became acquainted with a shy southern girl with the most beautiful smile he had ever seen. Months later he would tell his roommate, “That is the girl I am going to marry.” When his roommate responded, “You haven’t been able to date her yet,” Floyd replied, “All in due time, my friend.” They became a couple the next year and graduated together in 1949.
They married on Oct. 15, 1950, in Pendleton at the ripe old age of 19 years and shared 62 and a half years together. During those years they became parents to Karen Yvonne, and twins, Gerald and Sheryl.
Floyd and Ruth bought their first ranch in 1953 and began the development of Powerline Angus Ranch. Over the years they owned ranches in Oregon, Washington, and finally at Whitehall, Mont., with son, Jerry and his wife, Vicky. At every opportunity son, daughters, and later grandkids were involved in the ranch activities.
Daughter Karen preceded Ruth in death in 1985, as did all Ruth’s siblings save one. Ruthie was grandmother to six, great-grandmother to 17, and great-great grandmother to one. She was a lifelong member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and died at her home in Enumclaw, Wash., surrounded by her family. The last words she spoke was a prayer for her children and extended families.
She is survived by husband, Floyd; son, Gerald (Jerry) and wife Vicky; daughter, Sheryl and husband Doug Hamilton; sister, Archalene Johnson; and unnumbered friends who loved her.
Now she rests in God’s care.