Celebrating the life of Ruth Ellen Rieper
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08/21/1958 – 04/11/2020
(61 years old)
On Saturday April 11, 2020, in Spokane, WA, while being serenaded by John Prines “Angel from Montgomery”, Ruth’s spirit caught a gust of wind and departed in search of new adventures. Born to Clarence and Nancy Rieper, she grew up in Lakewood, WA. Her individuality became apparent during her teen years as she gravitated to nontraditional activities like woodshop and hunting as well as jobs such as cleaning out and painting rental houses with her father. Attending Lakes High School, she lettered in Rifle club. Upon graduating High School in 1976, she attended Fort Steilacoom Community College (Piece college). Heading to Eastern Washington University, she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Outdoor Recreation with a minor in Park management.
A 25-year US Forestry service employee, a major portion of work history was centered in Idaho. The job titles she held ranged from various positions under the general term of Forest Technician to Check Cruiser. Trees and the outdoors figured prominently in Ruth’s choice of work. She had been working as a Timber Measurements Specialist for the Boise and Sawtooth National Forests in Boise prior to her passing.
Adventure was her middle name. Her many interests included; river rafting, kayaking, downhill skiing, swimming and road biking. If it was a sport, Ruth probably tried it. An expert skier, she both worked as a paid and volunteer Ski Patroller in several of Idaho’s ski areas. Everywhere Ruth worked or any activity she participated in, she made friends and kept in contact with them. People were drawn to her positive and enthusiastic outlook on life and bubbly spirit.
She was preceded in death by her parent, Clarence and Agnes (Nancy) Rieper. She is survived by a brother, James Rieper and his partner Brenda Stewart of Lakewood, WA; Margaret Herron (Terry) of Spokane, WA, one niece, Maree Herron teaching in Russia, cousins Dave (Peggy) Rieper of Loon Lake, WA, and numerous other cousins and relatives as well as Ruth’s long time friend of 40 years, Kay Brocke, of Sandpoint, Idaho and hundreds of friends.
The Memorial service is pending, possibly in the Fall, held somewhere in Idaho . Her last wishes were that her ashes be scattered in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho. Arrangements are through Pacific Northwest Cremation. Please access their website to leave a memory on Ruth’s Page. In lieu of flowers, Donation can be made to a Cancer support group using this link: riverdiscovery.org/ruthrieper and/or the Payette Lakes, Bogus Basin, Sun Valley Ski Patrol.
There is so much more to say about Ruth and her life. Please leave a memory of her and/ or pictures, on Ruth’s page on Funeral home’s Website. She packed a lot of living in her 61 years of life.
The following is the story of her life in her own words, only the spelling was corrected.
Born August 21,1958, it was 93˚ that August morning, which was pointed out frequently by her Mom. Ruth went by different names depending on age, location, and friends; Peanut, Creepy little sister (shortened to “Creepy” by her big sister) and Ruthy from her friends.
Traveling came naturally to her, from her first adventure when she was five, when she went to the neighbors to swing, causing the whole neighborhood to turn out to look for her, to her frequent solo trips to the National Parks and Monuments across the U.S. She plain wore out numerous cars driving.
Family and friends are important to her and with the social media, it became easier to for her to keep in contact.
Indoor gym rat, outdoors N.W. Woman, kayaking, Mtn. Biking, road biking, swimming, and skiing etc. If it’s a sport, she probably tried it.
Comfortable working in the woods; she was never lost. Taught game tracking by her dad and Uncle Ed, she enjoyed seeing what game and predators had been in the woods with her. She spent all of her career working in the woods. Over her life, she has had more than her share of Rieper Luck. This is the ability to come out ahead no matter how weird the situation has gotten.
Being a part of the Rieper clan means being called back home to the open fields and woods. This is her last solo trip
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