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Ruth Claassen

Posted: Thursday, Nov 14th, 2013

Ruth Claassen was born Oct. 5, 1915, in the family farm home in Estrella, about 10 miles northeast of Paso Robles. She lived most of her life in the Paso Robles area. She died on Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, at the age of 98 years and one month in the presence of several family members.

Her husband, Louis, preceded her in death by 14 years. She was also preceded in death by her parents, Fred and Anna Quenzer, and eight siblings, Martha, Karl, George, Albert, Paul, Elizabeth, Adolf and Lydia.

Ruth is survived by her three sons and their spouses, Elwin (Vonnie), of Scotts Valley, Jerry (Janet), of Salem, Ore., and Ron (Roxanne) of Sanger, grandchildren, Janet (Jim) Hadley, Brian (Kristy), Candi (Dan) Whitney, Denice (Daryl) Borello, John (Suzanne), Ryan (Amy), Kevin (Jennette), 18 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. She knew a lot about the lives of each and made a serious attempt to know and keep up with each one. She had enough love to share that all felt special in her presence and knew that when they were not with her, she was praying for them.

Ruth attended the Pleasant Valley School in Estrella and then Paso Robles High School, where she graduated in 1934, the first in her family to graduate.

In 1936, she moved to Los Angeles and attended the Bible Institute of Los Angles (BIOLA). It was there that she met Louis. On Dec. 30, 1937, she was married to Louis Claassen. They were married for almost 63 years.

Louis and Ruth were married in the First Mennonite Church in Paso Robles where they worshipped and served faithfully.

For several years, they lived and farmed in Kansas where their three sons were born. They returned to Paso Robles in 1946 and lived there the rest of their married life. Ruth was a full-time homemaker until her youngest son was a junior in high school. Ruth then took a job at the Child Development Center, a state preschool operated by the Paso Robles School District. She completed her AA degree and many professional studies courses in early childhood education and became the director of the Center. She was a special person to many young children and parents who knew that their children would be stimulated in their development, safe and well cared for when left with her.

After she retired, Ruth and Louis were very involved in the development of Rainbow Bright Preschool, a ministry of the First Mennonite Church.

Soon after Louis died, and after a short time in Hanford, where Jerry and Janet were managers of a retirement home, Ruth moved to Santa Cruz, near Elwin and Vonnie where she lived for 13 years. She faithfully attended Twin Lakes Church where she had her favorite seat and usher.

On Monday morning, she took her last breath and peacefully passed into the presence of her Lord.

The family would like to thank the caregivers at Paradise Villa for the many years of helping stimulate her and giving her loving care.

Services were held at the First Mennonite Church in Paso Robles on Friday, Nov. 8.

For the complete article see the 11-15-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 11-15-2013 paper.

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