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Obituary of Ruth Ellen Smith
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RUTH ELLEN SMITH PhD Ruth Smith passed away on January 29, 2021 at home of Pancreatic cancer. She was born on June 26, 1930 to Theodore Hammond and Dorothy Stamper Smith in Long Beach, California. The family moved to Ben Lomond, California when she was a child, where her father established a residential home and school for the mentally retarded. She graduated from Santa Cruz High School, and earned both the B.A. and M.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. She earned a PhD in Psychology from the University of Southern California. Dr. Smith worked for most of her career as a Clinical Psychologist for the Porterville Developmental Center. While there she served as Staff Psychologist and also as Director of Research. She chaired several committees as well. She was the Director of a three year grant program for profoundly, multi-handicapped young children. Ruth was active in the Presbyterian Church. She served as both Elder and Deacon in the Terra Bella Presbyterian Church and as accompanist for a few years. She served as Moderator of the Presbytery of San Joaquin for one year and as chair of the Committee on Preparation for Ministry for a number of years. In February of 2020 she became a Commissioned Ruling elder. Ruth greatly enjoyed teaching adult Bible studies and taught in various venues for more than 50 years. She was considered a good lay scholar and her classes were enjoyed by her students. Ruth enjoyed travel and visited many countries, both for pleasure and as a volunteer. She served as a short term volunteer helping with English in Indonesia, Poland, Hungary and Portugal. She also volunteered on archeology digs in Germany and Peru. In her younger years she back packed in the Sierra and did hiking trips in Japan and Hungary. She loved the tall ships and was able to sail on several windjammers. Ruth was predeceased by her parents and two of her brothers: Theodore Smith Jr. and Michael Blake Smith. She is survived by: her brother John (Lucille) of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; three half siblings: William (Sherri) of Washougal, WA, Elizabeth of Boulder Creek, CA., Jackie Tripodi of Santa Cruz, Sisters-in-law Ethel Smith of Reno, NV, Patricia Smith of Ben Lomond, CA, and many nieces, nephews and “greats”. Because of Covid restrictions there will be only a small private Graveside Service at Oakwood Cemetery. For those wishing to donate in Ruth’s memory she supported Wycliffe Bible Translators PO Box 62811, Orlando, FL 32862-8211 or Doctors Without Borders, Medecins Sans Frontieres. PO Box 5022, Hagerstown, MD 21741-9804
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