Obituary for Ruth Mary Coy from the eyes of her only child, LarKen Marie Peterson Buchanan
It is with heartache that PeCoBu Acres announces the passing of Ruth M. Coy at the age of 91. She died of natural causes on the first day of summer on June 20th, 2017 surrounded by family, close friends and clergy to send her to heaven with love and compassion. She was taken to the Emergency Room at Valley Medical in the late evening on June 19, 2017. Her son-in-law stayed with her til 3am in the morning. Her daughter and son-in-law returned at 8:30am. Ruth was able to speak and acknowledge folks as they arrived. It was a rather unexpected and VERY quick loss, as she was recently released from Enumclaw Rehabilitation Center with a relatively clean bill of health (except for a broken left arm (only the 2nd broken bone in her 91 years)).
She is survived by her kids consisting of her loving daughter, LarKen Marie Peterson Buchanan and her favorite son (-in-law), Kenneth Kyle Buchanan.
She was preceded in death by her 5 siblings, Theresa Zdenek, Don Denek, Jerry Zdenek, Dorothy Collier and Mary Sether; as well as by her last two husbands, Kenard “Pete” Earl Peterson (1924-1978, married in 1955) and Ryley Edwin Coy (1932-2002, married in 1979).
Ruthie was born on February 24th, 1926 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was raised on a working farm in Zimmerman, Minnesota by her parents Gertrude and Herman Zdenek from the old country. She had two brothers, Don and Jerry, and three sisters, Dorothy, Mary and baby Theresa that did not make it to her first birthday.
She migrated to Washington in 1945 to work for Boeing. Dorothy (her sister) helped get her the job to support the production lines of bombers for the war. She knew “Rosie The Riveter” that the famous icon is loosely based on. She worked herself up from a parts gal, to expedite, then to parts counter lead, she was upgraded to the office, to computer operator where she helped write the first computing programs at The Boeing Company with punched cards. She eventually moved herself into being a manager. She was the type of manager that if you did your job well, then she liked you, but if you were a slacker she made sure that you knew it.
Ruth was a lady who didn’t put up with much, mostly likely due to her hard upbringing, and had more husbands than she’d like to count. She settled down with her True Love, Pete in 1955 til his death in 1978. They lived a very country style of life, with lots of hunting, fishing and camping (local and in Canada). They had befriended the next door neighbors, Bill and Marie Gann (LarKen’s next door mama); hunting dogs and bear hunting became a common hobby.
Pete spent the spring, summer and autumn months in Sun Valley, Idaho in the early seventies. And with Ruth’s strong sense of family and resilient spirit, she would buckle up LarKen and off they would go for the road trip to see “dad” every summer, and sometimes for Thanksgiving.
Most of 1978 she played nurse, wife and mom. She would care for Pete every morning/early afternoon prior to leaving for her 2nd shift duty manager job and be mom on the weekends. She did what she had to to insure that the family was financially taken care of during that long and emotional year.
Those first few months without Pete was a lonely time for Ruth, now a single mother trying to juggle a 13 year old, job and 6 acres of land. Then in February of 1979 she was introduced to her Soul Mate, Ryley. They married in May, and had 23 blissful years together.
In 1988, after 42 years at The Boeing Company she retired, to take care of Pete’s brother, Laurence. She was not able to live a retirement life style as she cared for Laurence daily until his death in 1993.
She and Ryley had many happy years after Ryley retired from The Boeing Company after 30 years. They had their “best friends” Chuck and Betty Brundage to keep it lively at home (PeCoBu Acres) with countless games of Uno around the dining room table after Ruth made a family meal.
Ruth and Ryley didn’t like to just sit at home, they liked to go; nearly every day they went somewhere and put many miles on Ryley’s van. They travelled to Minnesota and Iowa to visit with family nearly every year after Ryley’s retirement.
Ruth and Ryley both loved to gamble, they would get into the van and head off to Yakima, Rochester or some other gambling town to try to win the big one!
In 2002, Ruth’s life changed again, as her Soul Mate, Ryley was diagnosed with lung cancer. She ensured that there was round the clock care for him as his days winded to an end.
After Ryley’s passing, LarKen recruited Ruth to help with the Christmas programs at The Boeing Company by supplying her with countless patterned fabric to make dolls, animals and baby books. She rejoiced in helping the kids out with a nice little toy for Christmas.
Eventually Ruth found out that Marie liked to gamble too! And they became a gambling pair for years until both of their health started to limit their trips.
For a few years, Ruth befriended a neighbor and longtime family friend, Del Thompson. They were happy to share stories of the past together. Eventually Ruth began being the chauffeur for Del’s medical appointments and the like. She was proud to be able to help the Thompson family during their difficult time.
In 2010, Ruth assisted daughter, LarKen, and son, Ken, to build a new home. Many an afternoon, there was rock scrubbing, construction clean up or some other little chore that the three would engage in. And true to form, Ruth, required that “the kids” to pitch in for the cost of the home. That was Ruth’s core, which nothing is to ever be handed over, that there must be a sharing of the cost and work.
In October 2014, LarKen and Ken took a long road trip across the United States. LarKen assigned Ruth watching duty and house sitting, to Ken’s Sister, Penny. LarKen and Ken had to cut their trip short, as Ruth had injured herself. When Ruth was discharged from the hospital, LarKen and Ken opened their home for Ruth to stay and heal. Ruth didn’t ever want to leave. She felt comfort in spending time with “the kids”. Her last years, were filled with letting her be the Queen of the House, a position that she adored. There were weekly outings to buffets, dinners or hearty breakfasts. There were a few “health” scares during the last 3 years of her life, and it always seemed to follow a period of when “the kids” were out of town for a long weekend, but dear Penny was an integral part of Ruth’s last years.
It is comforting to know that Ruth really didn’t suffer too long in her journey to Heaven, and that she had an extremely dignified death.
Services will be held on Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ Noon at Edline and Yahn Covington Funeral Chapel, 27221 156th Ave SE, Kent, WA 98042. With the viewing available Friday June 23, 2017 4-8pm and Saturday June 24, 2017 9-11am.
Ruth Mary Coy will be interred at Tahoma National Cemetery on July 1, 2017 @ 10:15am. Family and Friends are encouraged to attend the brief service.
Flowers are appreciated, but donations in Ruth’s name to the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) are preferred (https://heroes.vfw.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1993&ea.campaign.id=49903&ea.tracking.id=homepage)
Please visit http://www.eycfc.com and post your thoughts in the online obituary.