Ruth C. Laird, 89, of Garden City, ID, passed away Monday, February 26, 2018 at her daughters home in Eagle, ID.
Ruth was born January 29, 1929 in Milltown, MT, to parents Lawrence “Merle” & Margaret Viola Casper. Ruth was the 2nd oldest of their 4 children that included her older brother Dick, and younger sisters Betty and Gloria.
Tragedy would strike the young family when Margaret passed away in an accident. Merle did his best to keep the family together; but it was difficult for a young single man with 4 small children. Ruth always said they were fortunate that her dad’s family was able to step-in and help. Fortunately for Merle, and his young children, he would meet Myra Corbin and they would soon marry. Myra already had 2 children of her own; Steve and Tom. Together Merle and Myra would add 8 more children to their family including Fae, Ernie, Bobby, Shirley, Linda, Lawrence, Lyda & Norma Jean.
As a young girl and teenager, Ruth described herself as a bit of a Tom-boy. She loved being outside and wasn’t afraid of working hard. She would work in the garden, milk cows, ride horses and could dress an animal with the best of them. As she approached her twenties, Ruth would meet and marry James B. “Wally” Wallace in October 1948. Ruth was immediately smitten by Wally, who was 18 years her senior. Together Ruth and Wally would have 2 children; Howard & Maria. While married, Ruth continued to spend time doing what she loved including working outside and canning fruits & vegetables from their garden. After 30 years of marriage, Ruth and Wally would divorce; but they remained friends.
Prior to the divorce, Ruth never really worked outside the home with the exception of providing house cleaning services for 2 wonderful women – Nan & Bev. What started out as a job would turn into two of Ruth’s most cherished life-long friendships. Now, on her own, Ruth would have to focus on working outside the home. She would go to work for the Elks Rehab, Multi-Care and Valley View Retirement Center. Whether working as a caregiver, cleaner or cook, Ruth’s jobs always included caring for others. Ruth was such a caregiver, that she would go on to care for her ex-husband Wally, in her home, until his passing in 1989. When people would ask, “why would you do this?” – Ruth would reply “because he is the father of my two children.” However, people who know Ruth know that is simply who she was – a loving and selfless caregiver. Even after Merle’s passing in 1994, Ruth would continue to visit her stepmom Myra (while living out her last days in Nampa, ID). Ruth would often go to visit Myra or bring her to celebrate holidays with her at Maria’s home. Ruth would also invite friends from church or the senior center to Maria’s home if they had no family or other place to go for the holidays. Again, this is simply who Ruth was.
Ruth was also very active socially. She was a long-time member of the Garden City Community Christian Center, and most recently River City Church. She loved her church, and some of the most important people in her life where relationships from church – especially Pastor Tom and Ginger. She also loved to bowl (2-3 times a week); spend time at the Garden City, Eagle and Boise Senior Center’s; play pinochle; and visit retirement homes with her singing group – the Footnotes.
As she got older, Ruth cherished every chance to spend time with her family. She looked forward to spending holidays, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, with Howard & Maureen, Maria & Aaron, and all her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Ruth also got to experience a lot of firsts at an older age; going on her first cruise, helicopter flight, submarine ride, trips to Mexico & Hawaii and vacations to Seattle and the Oregon Coast. She was always so excited to come back home and share her photos and experiences with her friends.
Ruth was a loving, kind, and caring person who always had a smile on her face. Because of this, Ruth was blessed with many friends – which was evidenced by the tremendous showing of support at her recent birthday & living celebration of her life.
Ruth is predeceased by her parents Lawrence & Margaret, step-mother Myra, brothers Dick, Ernie, Bobby, Steve & Tom; sister Linda; and her children’s father, James Wallace.
Survivors include her 2 children, Howard Wallace (Maureen) and Maria Van Der Aa (Aaron); 6 grandkids, Jeff, Jennifer, Jocelyn, Jamie, Drew & Trevor; 13 great grandkids; and 1 great-great grandchild. She is also survived by siblings: Betty, Gloria, Fae, Shirley, Lawrence, Lyda & Norma Jean; and many nieces, nephews & cousins. A full graveside service will be held for family & friends in April 2018 at the Emmett Cemetery where, as per Ruth’s wishes, she will be laid to rest with her mother. A gathering will follow immediately after in Eagle, ID. People will have the opportunity to speak or share any stories about Ruth graveside or at the gathering. Details of the service and gathering will be forthcoming as details are finalized.
Ruth… You are our Sunshine.