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April 1, 2008 - Obituary
John Walter Ruth: July 18, 1936-April 14, 2008Senior Softball-USA
John Walter RUTH Loyal husband, devoted father and grandfather, and confirmed car guy died peacefully at home on April 14, 2008. He had recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. With his warm smile, gentle demeanor, and dry sense of humor, he will be dearly missed by his wife Saundra Ruth, his brothers William E. Ruth (and wife Susan) and Jerry A. Ruth, his children Joanne Gentry (and husband David), John David Ruth (and wife Pat), Joel Ruth, Jeri Osgood (and husband David), Philip Maasen, and Paul Maasen and his grandchildren Chett (and wife Kylie), Jennifer, Amanda (and husband Chris), Nathan, Amber, Ben, Nicholas, and Ciana, and great-grandchildren Gabriel and Tegan. John was born in Seattle, WA at Providence Hospital on July 18, 1936 to Walter Earnest and Zella Mary Ruth. He lived in the Riverton area of Seattle until age 5 when his family moved to a small home off of Benson Highway in Renton, WA. John attended Panther Lake Elementary School, Kent Junior High, and graduated from Kent Meridian High School. He then went on to study engineering at Washington State University. After attending WSU for 2 years, he returned to the Seattle area and went to work for Boeing. During this time, John married Judy Everall and had three children. They divorced in 1974. John worked at Boeing for 13 years and was involved in the design of the original SST airliner. After his time at Boeing, John went to work in the field that was his true passion - cars and racing. John had always owned and raced vintage automobiles on his own and with his brother Jerry. He would buy one car, trick it out, and then sell it. One car finally stuck - a 1939 Chevrolet. It was owned by him until his death and will remain in the family. In the early 70's, John partnered with the late Steve Woomer, in Competition Specialties, a retail and then wholesale speed equipment distributor. Competition Specialties proved very successful and still operates today in Auburn, WA. In the mid-70's, John sold his share back to partner Steve Woomer. For the next three years, John traveled with his brother Jerry, supporting his racing career on the fuel dragster and funny car circuits. John had many fond memories of that time in his life. In 1980, John started Motor Oil Supply in Tukwila, WA. He started out with one employee and slowly grew it to its current size of 27 employees. One of the first employees John hired, Saundra (Sam) Maasen, later went on to become his wife. John remembers seeing Sam walk through the door for the first time and said she was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. They married September 1st, 1983 and would have celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this year. Throughout his life, John continued to own and operate Motor Oil Supply, visit hot rod shows with Don Willies and his car buddies, attend every high school reunion, attend most every sporting event his grandchildren played in, and tinker with his substantial stable of hot rods. John loved cars and he loved his work, but most of all he loved his family. His grandchildren were absolutely his pride and joy and he relished every moment spent with them. John's quiet, caring manner, crinkly, blue eyes, dry sense of humor, warm hugs, love for his family, and inquisitive nature will be so missed by all who loved him. We know he is smiling down on us and we will live in honor of his memory. A Service to Celebrate John's life will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 21st, 2008 at First Evangelical Presbyterian Church (19800 108th Ave SE Renton, WA 98055). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network - www. Pancan.org. To those who are unable to attend, please take a quiet moment at 5:00 p.m. on April 21st to reflect on John and his life and all that he gave us. The family of John Ruth would like to thank Dr. Richard Ingber and his staff for their compassionate care and concern during John's illness.
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