Obituaries — Aug. 2, 2017

Robert E. Ruby

Sequim resident Robert E. Ruby died July 25, 2017, of colon cancer at his Sequim home at the age of 75. No local services were announced. City View Funeral Home & Cemetery, Salem, Ore., was in charge of arrangements. He was born June 29, 1942.

Mary Gross Mead

February 17, 1921 – July 19, 2017

Mary Gross Mead passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, following a short battle with cancer. She was 96.

Mary was born in Duluth, Minnesota February 17, 1921. Growing up in cold, snowy Duluth and ice skating on frozen Lake Superior remained a defining experience throughout her life. She married Warren F. Mead in 1942 in Anniston, Alabama where he was a member of the United States Army. He preceded her in death in 2001.

As her four children, we always admired Mom’s adventurous spirit. In addition to living in Minnesota and Alabama, she lived in Butte and Missoula, Montana, Boise, Idaho, Little Rock, Arkansas and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Our mother traveled to Canada and Alaska with our father and to Guam and Japan with her daughters. She had been a resident of Sequim since 1985. Her longtime neighborhood friends always made her feel she was part of something special, and we are grateful for their friendship, kindness and loving support.

Her spirit shone most brightly through her art work. She was an accomplished china painter, winning first place ribbons at the Oklahoma state fair. Many of her oil on canvas scenes adorned her home and the homes of her children and relatives. She loved gardening and never left her hummingbird feeder empty. Family celebrations during the holidays featured large dinners and freshly baked cookies. Christmas was always special with a tree decorated with favorite ornaments dating back to her childhood and Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” playing in the background.

Our mother looked forward to the good-natured competitiveness of her monthly canasta group and passed on her love of cards to her children and grandchildren. Other hobbies included stamp and coin collecting. Our parents also volunteered at both the Sequim Senior Center and the Visitor Center, welcoming new residents to Sequim. They were lifelong members of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

Mary is survived by her daughters: Marty Mead of Sequim, WA; Diane Mead of Albuquerque, NM; Carol Butcher of Silverdale, WA and her partner Chuck Pearson of Westport, WA; and John Mead and his wife Lim Mei Chian of Singapore. She also leaves behind her son-in-law Skip Butcher and his partner Patty Rothenburg, three grandchildren: Sarah, Andrea and her husband Gib, Emily and her husband Jesse, and of course her bright-eyed great-granddaughter, Eloise.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, George and Blanche Gross, her sisters Margaret Gross, Eileen Rosekrans, who served in the Marine Corps, Lorraine Rosekrans, and her brothers George, a Pearl Harbor Survivor, and John, a WWII paratrooper.

Thank you to Dr. Charles Sullivan, her thoughtful and caring family practice physician and advisor for over 30 years. Also, thank you to the staff of Brookdale Montclair in Poulsbo for their kind and genuine care for our Mom.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Lending Closet sponsored by the Soroptimist International of Sequim, WA. Their generosity in lending needed medical equipment and their understanding helped comfort our family during this very difficult time. More information is found at http://sisequim.org/what-we-do/medical-loan-closet/. Local address is P.O. Box 126; Sequim, WA 98382.

Burial will be at the Sequim View Cemetery in Sequim on July 29, 2017.

Doris L. Cromwell

Doris L. Cromwell passed away on July 18, 2017 in Sequim, Washington. She was born in 1923 in St. Louis to Edith and Harry Bode, and was the office manager of a small insurance agency in St. Louis.

She married Clarence (Mark) Cromwell in 1963, and they enjoyed nature in the Midwest traveling in their camper every weekend. They moved to Sequim in 1972 and built their home in Dungeness. They continued to camp all over the US and Canada during the summer, visited Alaska and Mexico, went on Elder Hostels, canoed and backpacked, and took lots of classes at Peninsula College. Doris even thought about becoming a nurse, but the traveling bug got in the way.

Doris’ strong faith carried her through the loss of her beloved husband in 1988. Doris continued to travel over her remaining years, visiting many places in Europe, New Zealand and Australia. She had many stories to tell about her funny experiences. Her passion was driving, and did several trips across the US and Canada on her own, visiting family and friends. If she needed a different profession in her younger years, she would probably have been a truck driver, since she loved being on the road. When she was not traveling, she volunteered for many years for Volunteer Hospice Grief Group, and Peninsula Friends of Animals. Doris was a prolific needle pointer, and produced projects for professional needlepoint designers. Later she became a “hooker” and produced lovely rugs.

Doris survived her beloved husband “Mark”, and her 2 brothers Paul and Vernon Bode.

She is survived by niece Elaine Baeuchler of Pewaukee, WI, and nephew David Bode of Summerville SC, Mark’s daughter Candy Reem, and many dear friends.

A graveside service will be at Sequim View Cemetery on Thursday August 10th at 2pm.

Vi Marie Cusick

Sept. 11, 1936 – July 19, 2017

Vi Marie Cusick, of Tacoma passed away peacefully Saturday surrounded by loved ones.

Vi was born in Tacoma, Washington and was 80 at the time of her passing.

In retirement she and her husband William Cusick traveled extensively both home and abroad, they raised 9 children.

Vi was preceded in death by her husband William F. Cusick and daughter Kathy Willams.

She is survived by children William Cusick, Stephen Cusick, Thomas Cusick, Elaine Stanley, Charles Cusick, Connie Spinks, Maria Adair, Rick Murdock, 15 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

A celebration of her life will be held Sept. 16th at the Point Defiance Holiday Retirement Center, 6414 N. Park Way, Tacoma, WA.

Donations may be made in her name to the Am. Diabetes Assoc.

Ardis Elaine Oitto Kirby

October 13, 1922 – July 26, 2017

Our wonderful mother, Ardis Elaine Oitto Kirby, passed away July 26, 2017, in Sequim, WA. Ardis was born October 13, 1922 to Richard and Vera Fuller Oitto at Lead, SD. Ardis shared her childhood with a brother and sister in what she described as her beloved Black Hills. She graduated from Lead High School in 1940 as class salutatorian and principle violinist of the school orchestra. She then worked for the Lead National Bank, and supported WWII efforts as a member of her Beta Sigma Phi Sorority. That summer Ardis met her future husband, Richard C. Kirby, of Rochester, MN; they were married November 27, 1944 at St. Bride’s Church in Chicago, IL. Ardis and Dick lived in Minneapolis, MN, St. Joe, MO, Geneva, Switzerland, and Rockville, MD, before settling in Boulder, CO where they lived for nearly twenty years. The family then spent another twenty years living in Switzerland and France while Dick worked for the International Telecommunications Union.

Ardis was a devoted wife, an active homemaker, and delightful mother of 7 children. She encouraged the diverse interests of her children and helped them with music, ballet, swimming, figure skating, and multiple sports teams. She was an excellent seamstress, even designing most of her children’s clothing and, later, club uniforms for the Denver Figure Skating Club. She was also a Den Mother for the Cub Scouts. In her personal time, she loved music, enjoyed writing poetry, and was a talented painter and gardener.

In Boulder, Ardis belonged to the Altar and Rosary Society of Sacred Heart Church and School where she was an active volunteer in the parish and the classroom. Ardis also studied creative writing during night school classes at the University of Colorado and was a published author. In Geneva, she remained active supporting her children’s school, volunteering for Caritas, and resuming violin – even beginning a string quartet.

Ardis and Dick traveled the world extensively. Ardis was always an ardent learner, becoming adept at French and even took up a new instrument – the mandolin. She later joined a mandolin orchestra and once performed in Alexandria, VA with two of her children in the audience. Ardis relished walking along trails and beaches, stopping often to admire flowers or rocks, many of which she took home. She appreciated the beauty surrounding her in life and had the good fortune to experience many mountains, oceans and castles. She loved coral and lavender, yellow and turquoise … roses and daffodils … Vivaldi and Celtic Thunder … fossils and poetry … velvet and lace. In later years, Ardis embraced genealogy. She discovered she was a Mayflower descendant, and joined the Daughters of the American Revolution, Dames of the Magna Carta, and other historical societies.

In 1995, Dick retired and they built a home in Sequim big enough for treasured visits of grandchildren. They were members of St. Joseph’s Church. When Dick became ill, Ardis lovingly cared for him at home. They celebrated 67 years of marriage before his passing in 2012.

Ardis was preceded in death by her husband, her daughter Eleanor Kirby, her sister Irma Hamilton, and her parents Richard and Vera. She is survived by her brother Richard Oitto (Joan) of Denver, CO, and 6 children: Richard C. Kirby Jr. (Patricia) of Keller, TX; Kate Sullivan (Charles) of Sequim; Elizabeth Kirby (David Granatstein) of Wenatchee, WA; Andrew Kirby (Martha) of Oak Hill, VA; Christine Bourguignon (Philippe) of Bogis-Bossey, Switzerland; and Michael Kirby (Rachel) of Ft. Collins, CO. She was a loving grandmother to 20 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren, and dearly loved her many nieces and nephews.

A Rosary will be said for Ardis on Wednesday, August 9 at 10:30 a.m., followed by a Catholic Funeral Mass at 11 a.m., both at St. Joseph’s Church in Sequim. A private interment will be held at Sequim View Cemetery. There will be an open house to honor Ardis at Kate and Chuck Sullivan’s home at 4365 Happy Valley Road between 2:30 and 4:00 pm, August 9.

The family extends a heartfelt thank you to the loving staff at Sherwood Assisted living in Sequim who cared for Ardis as if she were a member of their own family. It was Ardis’s wish that any memorials in her name should be made to the charity of your choice.

Ardis was a truly inspiring and compassionate mother and wife and was loved deeply by all her extended family. She made the world a better place. The example she set and the values she shared will endure through her children. As her son Andrew has often said, “If everyone had a mother like ours, there would be no wars.”

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