Ruth Dorothy Cone Sawyer Weiland, 91, a larger-than-life figure to her family and friends, died on Dec. 5 at her home in Aptos. The cause of death was heart failure.
A bookkeeper by profession, she was also accomplished as an amateur astrologer and at various arts and crafts, including watercolor painting, sewing and enamel jewelry-making. She was an expert devotee of grand opera. She volunteered for Gray Bears and other community services.
Weiland was born in Berkeley in 1919. Her family later moved to Palo Alto. In 1939, she was admitted to study at Vanderbilt University at a time when the admissions ratio was one female for every seven males.
In July, 1941, she married Herman Sawyer of Nashville, a farmer. She worked part-time while their two daughters were growing up. Divorced in 1963, she later married Karl "Dutch" Weiland, a Coast Guard officer. They settled in the Santa Cruz area in 1964, where Mr. Weiland worked in law enforcement. Mrs. Weiland worked as a self-employed bookkeeper to lawyers and non-profits, including legal firms in Monterey (Alan P. Murphy), Salinas (Joseph Bloom) and Santa Cruz (Murphy, Murphy Black and Williams) and others. She also set up and kept books for Volunteer Service Bureau, Community Connections, Community Options, Defensa de Mujeres, and others until retiring in 2003 at age 84.
A memorial service will be scheduled. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Doctors Without Borders.
Survivors include daughters Sharon Russell Sawyer of Lake Tahoe, Kathy Sawyer Atkisson of Washington, DC, and Patty Weiland McBride of Willits; son Karl Brown Weiland Jr; and brothers, Donald R. Cone of Los Osos, John W. Cone of Los Altos and David L. Cone of Palo Alto.