Ruth Leah Gunderson (1928-2018)

Ruth Leah Gunderson (1928-2018)

Ruth Leah Gunderson of Fillmore, CA was taken by the loving arms of God through Heaven’s Gates on May 13, 2018. Born in a small home nestled by the tracks of the Norfolk and Western Railroad in Blue Ridge, Virginia Ruth’s life journey began on August 9, 1928. Raised by a mother widowed soon after her birth and being the youngest of 13 children, eight brothers and four sisters, from the very beginning Missy Ruth’s incredible journey began surrounded by love and care. From this she developed her invincible philosophy that she would hug, smile and share love with everyone she met.
After graduating from Piedmont College in Winston Salem, North Carolina she attended and graduated from City Memorial Hospital Nursing School in Winston Salem as well. After graduation Ruth’s independent spirit and encouragement from Sister Betty, gave her no hesitation to grab her newly acquired cap, sit it beside her in her car and head across the country to California.
Once in California Ruth realized she was where she was truly meant to be and started her new life at South Bay Hospital in Redondo Beach. Ruth found her calling as an ER nurse at Santa Paula Hospital after relocating to Fillmore in 1971. Later, Ruth left Santa Paula Hospital and went to work for a plastic surgeon in Oxnard. Ruth retired from nursing in the late nineties but never formally retired from working.
Ruth spent Sundays at her second home in Fillmore ~ Faith Community Church. Fellow parishioners could count on Ruth to greet them at the door with hugs and kisses, coordinate church events, mail out the weekly newsletters, help manage the church prayers, anything the church might need Ruth was eager and more than willing to do.
Ruth and her husband Don dedicated their lives’ work to the projects of the Fillmore Rotary. One of Ruth and Don’s favorite Rotary projects is the annual elementary school dictionary handout. Ruth was bestowed with the only known Rotary title of District Hugger. This honorable position was recognized at many West Coast meetings and by the International President ~~ all of course resulting in huge hugs.
Ruth loved her travels with her husband Don. Together, they took twenty three cruises that took them to many of the countries Don had been to during his long career with the U.S. Navy. These trips covered Europe and South America including places like Machu Picchu, Peru and multiple Panama Canal crossings.
When asked about the best gift her journey gave her the answer was always being a mother to her two children and then being a Grandmother to her grandchildren. Mama Ruth loved having her family by her side. She loved decorating for the holidays, cooking big meals, telling stories but most of all she enjoyed her family just being together.
In addition to a legacy of love, kindness and forever smiles Mama Ruthie will always be in the hearts, thoughts and prayers of her family ~~ Husband Don Gunderson of Fillmore, Son Scott Sanders and his wife JoAnn of Fillmore, Daughter Mindy Welch, her Husband Bill, Granddaughter Shelby and Grandson Koby of Ojai, Don's Daughters Jennifer Pimentel of Fillmore and Victoria Bogner, her Husband Jim and Grandsons JJ and Joshua of Carmel, Indiana.
Ruth’s loving and caring spirit will always be remembered and live on by the congregation of the Faith Community Church, and all of the people she touched and held in the City of Fillmore.
Treasured moments and memories from family and friends are encouraged to be shared at her celebration of life ~~ Saturday, May 26, 2018 at the Faith Community Church, 355 “D” Street, Fillmore, CA 93015 from 2:00pm -5:00pm.
With her family by her side Mama Ruthie will have her final private graduation at the Bardsdale Cemetery where she will forever keep a special watch over her beloved Fillmore families.
As requested, Ruth’s family is privileged to extend hugs and kisses to all of her Doctors, their Staffs, the Palms Assisted Living in Ventura, Assisted Home Health Hospice and Caregivers, Dignity Memorial of Fillmore, members of the Fillmore Rotary, her Neighbors and all of the people of Fillmore who were along for her journey – there will never be enough thank yous for all you’ve done.