Ruth Klughammer passed away on May 17, 2023. She was 89 years old after living a beautiful, productive, and meaningful life. She is dearly missed, and her family cherishes the memories of her impact on this world. She is survived by her husband Helmut Klughammer, her children and their spouses, and her many grandchildren.
Ruth was born in Ottawa to George and Beryl Fry. She spent her days with her best friend, Jackie Fisher, and even then, lived by the maxim “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun” (Katharine Hepburn). She took a streetcar to high school and upon graduation, packed her suitcase and left for nurse’s training at the Royal Vic in Montreal. One of her first duties was to set up a medical station on the street corner and provide the vital polio vaccine. Soon, degree in hand, Ruth decided to move west. She traveled to Calgary, Alberta with nursing friends where she joined the Ski Club. Helmut was a member, too, and after asking him out, it was obvious he was smitten. Helmut and Ruth married in 1961. Though Ruth would have been just as happy to elope, her parents insisted they have a wedding in Ottawa. Alan came along soon. Then Ann, and, five years later, Ken.
The big move from Calgary to Nakusp, British Columbia, happened in 1975. But first, Ruth finished off her second degree, this one in education. Relocating to their new, idyllic lakeside property just outside town, Ruth and the family moved into a half-finished house. Ruth helped complete the massive project, once falling from a ladder while putting up insulation. She took care of things herself, her independent spirit opting not to go to the hospital. Ruth went back to nursing after a brief stint teaching, also joining various volunteer positions such as working at the thrift shop and taking on the role of president of the Women’s Auxiliary Club at the hospital. She joined a quilting club and this set off a flurry of incredible sewing projects, appreciated by her family still.
The move to Maple Ridge happened in 2010, first to a house and then to Graystone Manor. By then, her accomplishments, her travel (Turkey, Colombia, Alaska, the U.A.E, the Canary Islands…), and her love and dedication to her family made an impressive list. Living a life of purpose, Ruth was strong, generous, and always fair (She once found a paper bag filled with money and turned it into the authorities). With dementia setting in, Ruth’s final days were sometimes difficult. But she also found joy. Once on a wheelchair walk, she saw the blue sky and broke into song. It was an Ella Fitzgerald song and she was able to recall many of the lyrics: “Blue skies, nothing but blue skies. Never saw the sun shining so bright. Never saw things going so right. Noticing the days hurrying by. When you're in love, my how they fly” Ruth always knew she was loved. When sentences became difficult, one of her final words was “family.” Ruth will be missed profoundly as she transitions to a better place.
May 24th, 2023
Ruth was my mother in-law and a wonderful, caring, loving person. She was the center of her family, and Ruth will be missed. Ruth was not an observer. She lived life from her two careers as a nurse and educator to her adventures with travel and outdoor sports. Ruth pushed boundaries and was full of energy. She met the love of her life, Helmut, while skiing. It was a match made in heaven, and together they raised three fine children (with seven grandchildren and one great-grand-baby at last count). Our world is a little darker and heaven is a little brighter. Well done, Ruth. Welcome home, good and faithful servant.
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