Ruth L. Richstad

...who followed a successful career by devoting herself to education and the spiritual life

Ruth Lydia DeJong Richstad died peacefully at home on Vashon Island, on Friday, Sept. 7, in the 90th year of her life.

She was born in Power, Mont., and spent most of her life in Seattle, where she graduated from Queen Anne High School in 1936, married Harold Richstad ( now deceased) in 1939 and raised four children.

During the late 1930s and the 1940s, Mrs. Richstad worked both as a homemaker and outside the home. In the 1950s she studied for and obtained her real estate license as an agent and as a broker. For many years thereafter she worked in the real estate field with notable success, ultimately becoming the proprietor of her own real estate firm on Queen Anne Hill and also becoming the first woman president of Seattle Quality Listings. Her achievements in real estate were marked not only by financial success but, more significantly, by her reputation for integrity and service to her clients.

Like many in her generation, Mrs. Richstad was well suited for higher education following high school, but entered the workforce because of economic conditions. Yet her desire for a college education never waned. After selling her real estate business, she enrolled at Seattle Pacific University, earning her bachelor of arts degree in Latin American Studies in 1994 with honors, at the age of 76. In 2001, she completed another degree, this time in Classics - again with honors - at the age of 83. Her college career included a European quarter and a quarter in Costa Rica. A large family contingent was proud to be present when she crossed the stage to receive her diploma.

Mrs. Richstad's accomplishments in business and education are noteworthy, but more important to her were family, community and the spiritual life. She was a longtime member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Seattle and, after moving to Vashon Island in 2002, became a part of Vashon Island Community Church and Vashon Lutheran Church. Bible study and daily devotions were constants in her life. Her lively interest in the world around her and her genuine interest in others caused her to develop a wide and close-knit circle of friends wherever she lived. Her extended family recollects with gratitude and love the attention and blessings she showered upon them through her active interest in all the events of their lives and in their welfare.

Ruth Richstad's family includes her four children Eric, Kenneth, Ruth and Jean; their spouses Judy Richstad, Barbara Richstad, Bob Miller and Daniel Brown; her grandchildren Renee, Kristine, Laura, Jonathan, Erica, Josephine and Kenneth; and her great-grandchildren Rick, Kennedy, CJ, Annabelle, Hunter, Megan and Gabriel, who now all join hands to remember Ruth and her bright blue eyes and to thank her for her loving life.

Memorial services will be held at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Seattle, during the Sunday worship service at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 21 and Vashon Island Community Church at 4 p.m. on Oct. 21. Remembrances in Ruth Richstad's name may be sent to Vashon Island Community Church, Vashon Lutheran Church or Immanuel Lutheran Church, Seattle.[[In-content Ad]]