Ruth Werner

Obituary of Ruth Rebecca Werner

Ruth Mandel Werner June 2, 1913-June 22, 2010. Ruth Mandel Werner died peacefully in her home, surrounded by family and friends, Tuesday, June 22. Ruth was born in 1913 in Cleveland, Ohio, the youngest of 5 children, to Jacob and Serra Lefkowitz. Ruth's mother ran a boardinghouse to support her children when her husband's tuberculosis sent him to Denver, Colorado to convalesce. When Ruth was 5 and the rest of the family moved to Denver by train, Serra reportedly tossed her Jewish ritual wig into the Mississippi River, the first of many declarations of independence from Old World restrictions. Ruth followed her mother's independence, graduating from high school early, excelling in business school skills, and finding continued employment during the Depression. She married Herbert Werner and moved to his home in Billings, Montana. After son Jim was born Herb was drafted in the Army and posted in Oklahoma and Texas. Ruth traveled on the troop trains and lived in boarding houses to keep her family together. Later they settled in Billings where daughter Sara and another son Art were born. Ruth brought her excellent business skills and warm personality to the family insurance and real estate businesses. In Billings she was active in the Jewish community, the support of her children's education, and the Insurance Women's Club. Ruth and Herb moved to California in 1972, settling first in Capitola, then Santa Maria, and then returning to Santa Cruz to be close to family. In Santa Maria she surprised everyone, especially herself, when she brought her business skills and friendliness to become a top seller for Avon. After Herb passed away in 1994 Ruth moved to the house next door to her daughter Sara who, with her husband Joe Walsh and granddaughter Lilah, cared for her until her death; 2 weeks after celebrating her 97th birthday with ice cream sandwiches. Ruth will be greatly missed by her family and friends who loved her optimism, generosity, political savvy, forgiving nature, and lively wit. She is survived by her son-in-law Joe Walsh who made it possible for her to live in her home, daughter Sara, and granddaughter Lilah of Santa Cruz, grandson Brendan (Yuki) of San Diego, son Jim Werner of Portland, Oregon, granddaughter Mandy Krishnan (Mani) of New Hampshire, grandson Robert Knutson (Catherine) of Minnesota, 6 great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and loyal friends Roxana Medina and Julia Ramirez. Reading gave her her greatest pleasure. She read thousands of mystery novels from the Santa Cruz Public Library, reading up to her final week. Remembrances may be made in her name to the Santa Cruz Public Library,, and to CAI, Central Asia Institute for their mission of education and literacy for women, Private services will be held Friday at the Home of Peace Cemetery.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ruth Werner, please visit Tribute Store
A Memorial Tree was planted for Ruth
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Benito & Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel
Share Your Memory of