Ruth R. Kelder


Ruth R. Kelder, aged 84, passed away on Monday March 5, 2018, due to complications arising from illness with the flu and pneumonia.

Ruth was born in 1934 in Chicago, Illinois. Her family later moved to Cary, Illinois, and while attending high school, she met her future husband Samuel L. Kelder.

Sam and Ruth married in 1953. Following Sam’s graduation from the University of Illinois, they moved to Burbank, California, where Sam pursued his career in aeronautical engineering while Ruth stayed at home to raise their three children, son Jeffrey and twin daughters Denise and Diane.

After several years in Burbank, Sam and Ruth moved the family to nearby Sunland, where they enjoyed Ruth’s talent for flower and vegetable gardening, fruit from peach, orange, and avocado trees, home-raised chickens, plus a horse for each daughter.

During these years, Ruth operated her own wallpaper installation business, earning money toward her children’s school tuitions.

Upon Sam’s retirement, he and Ruth traveled the United States for three years in their fifth-wheel trailer. They explored beautiful New England, saw the monuments in Washington DC, toured the Civil War areas of the South, enjoyed the wonders of our national parks in the West, and loved their time in Alaska.

Sam and Ruth purchased their retirement home in Cottage Grove, Oregon. Sam discovered his talent for golf, and Ruth continued her passions for flower gardening and quilting. At their weekly meeting, Ruth and her friends created beautiful quilts as gifts for family members and for wounded veterans returning from Afghanistan.   Sam and Ruth also contributed many volunteer hours to the benefit of the local community.

Ruth’s love and concern for her family, and her remarkable ability to sense and meet the needs of others, will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Ruth’s father Harry, mother Beda, sister Anita and her husband John, all preceded her in death. Ruth is survived by her husband Sam, by her children Jeffrey and his wife Judy, Denise and her husband David, Diane and her husband Howard, by her granddaughter Laura and her husband Drew, by her granddaughter Michelle, and by her sister Sally and her husband Rich.

Ruth requested a private memorial service. The family wishes to thank the medical staff at Sacred Heart Hospital in Springfield, Oregon, for their compassionate care. Arrangements in the care of Smith-Lund-Mills Funeral Chapel, Cottage Grove, Oregon.

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