1924 - 2012
Ruth Ellen Krout, Walla Walla, passed away peacefully in her home Dec. 16, 2012, after a courageous battle with pulmonary fibrosis. Ruth Ellen was born on a cold and snowy day on Jan. 4, 1924, in York, Pa. She was the third of four children born to Lester E. Kern and Ruth Warner Kern and was the only child to survive beyond infancy. She graduated from York High School in January 1942 as part of the class of 19M42. She then worked at Martin Perry.
Ruth Ellen was introduced to her future husband, Kenneth G. Krout, by mutual friends. They were married on June 6, 1947, at Bethany Reformed Church in York. The couple lived in Philadelphia while Ken attended dental school and Ruth Ellen worked at AT&T. During Ken’s service in the Air Force, the couple lived at Scott Air Force Base in Belleville, Ill., before returning to York. She provided much moral support for Ken in the establishment of his dental practice in West York. Ruth Ellen was very involved in all of her daughters’ and grandchildren’s school activities.
In 1997, Ruth Ellen left behind her beloved home in York and moved with Ken to Seattle to be with their youngest daughter and her family. She made many close friends through the couple’s involvement in West Seattle Christian Church. Ruth Ellen found many opportunities for volunteer activities as well. In 2003, the couple moved with her daughter’s family to Walla Walla. She enjoyed helping out with activities at the family’s alpaca farm and even bonded quite closely with several pygmy goats.
Before Ruth Ellen’s health took a significant decline, she and Ken were able to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary with well over 50 friends and family from Walla Walla, Seattle and Pennsylvania.
One of Ruth Ellen’s greatest joys was celebrating holidays, birthdays and other special events with family and friends. She was an avid sewer and reader. She loved flowers and the color purple. Ruth Ellen enjoyed volunteering and took education classes for seniors in York, Seattle and Walla Walla. Among her favorite pastimes were shopping, antiquing, going to auctions and watching movies. Late in life, Ruth Ellen discovered what a good writer she could be after taking classes through the senior center and community college. Up until a few days before her death, she was still working on preparing birthday and Christmas cards for friends and family signing with her trademark “RE.”
Ruth Ellen is survived by her husband, Kenneth G. Krout of Walla Walla; daughter, Jyl A. Francis and husband James Francis of Coopersburg, Pa; daughter, Jan C. Kruper and partner Cecilia A. McKean of Walla Walla; grandson, Robert Kern Miller of Walla Walla; granddaughter, Kathryn Ruth Francis of Brighton, Mass.; granddaughter, Marissa Ellen Faulkner of Baltimore, Md.; grandson, James Edward Francis of Shippensburg, Pa.; great-granddaughter, Taylor Lynn All of Aireville, Pa.; and great-great-grandson, Jayden Michael Thomas Christopher All of Aireville, Pa. Ruth Ellen was preceded in death by her parents, Lester and Ruth Kern; her eldest daughter, Jo Ellen Krout Miller Faulkner; and a grandson, Christopher Robert Miller.
A celebration of her life will be held at First Congregational Church, 73 S. Palouse St. in Walla Walla at 2 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2012, on what would have been her 89th birthday. A graveside service will also be held at a later date at New Harmony Presbyterian Church in Brogue, Pa.
In lieu of flowers or memorial contribution, Ruth Ellen has asked that you hug a loved one extra tight, practice a random act of kindness, have an extra helping of dessert and howl at the full moon in her memory.