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Ruth Garrett McDonald

MERCER ISLAND, Wash. - Ruth Garrett McDonald (aka Grandma Ruth) was born April 14, 1921, in Oshkosh, Wis. Her family soon relocated to Minneapolis. After graduating from high school, Ruth went on to attend the University of Minnesota, joining the Pi Beta Phi Sorority. The war was on, and Ruth enthusiastically joined the U.S. Marine Corps. After serving two years, she was hired by Northwest Airlines and was transferred to Billings, where she met her future husband, Dan McDonald. Along came her new career: JoAnn and Marilyn, her daughters.

Ruth volunteered with Junior League, the Deaconess Medical Center, the Billings Studio Theatre and the Ponderosa School. Golf was her outdoor sport and she played until she was 85 years old. Bowling and bridge were her indoor hobbies. In 2004, she moved from Billings to Island House Retirement Center on Mercer Island, where she was thrilled to have her daughters and their families close by. The Senior Niner Golf Group on Mercer Island welcomed her with open arms and she went every Monday to a different golf course. Ruth also took in most of the field trips and activities at Island House, but loved the friends she met there most of all.

We will remember her as a sweet, cheerful, selfless woman who never said an unpleasant word to or about anyone. Ruth was grateful for every day on this earth. She leaves us all with the legacy that your outlook on life defines your quality of life.

Ruth is survived by her two daughters, JoAnn Johnson and family; Marilyn Dierickx and family.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Mercer Island Presbyterian Church, 3605 84th Ave. SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

Remembrances can be shared at

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