October 12, 1920 - April 30, 2018
Ruth Doris (Larson) Sleasman
Oct. 12, 1920 – April 30, 2018
Ruth Sleasman of Portland Oregon passed away at the age of 97 on April 30, 2018. Ruth was born October 12, 1920 in Bristol, Connecticut to Lars & Lydia Larson, Swedish immigrants of America. The tenth of twelve children Ruth had fond memories of growing up on a Connecticut Farm. She idolized her older sisters: Esther closest to her age, Helen who inspired her to become a nurse, Rangheld who looked after Ruth while she grew up, and Hilda who was the only sibling to leave Connecticut and settle close to Oregon in Montana. Of her seven brothers Ruth always spoke of fun she had with brothers closest to her age; Johnny her angel, Art her partner in crime and Bobby the baby of the family
Ruth graduated from Bristol High School, then from Hartford School of Nursing in 1942. Joining the Army Nurse Corps during WWII she served in Hawaii, the Philippine Islands & Japan. In Hawaii she met her future husband Homer Sleasman. They spent five months dating while they were both stationed in Honolulu. Afterwards they each headed off to different assignments in Asia. At the end of the war Ruth returned to Connecticut to a pile of letters from the First Lieutenant from Redmond, OR. She soon after received a call from Homer asking if she still wanted to get married. Saying yes she later met Homer in Grand Central Station and they were married on December 14, 1945 in the Swedish Covenant Church in Forestville Connecticut. After their wedding, and a second reception in Redmond, Oregon, they set-up housekeeping in Portland Oregon. First on their agenda was building their home in NE Portland. They moved into the unfinished house just after Son #1, William was born. Son #2, Robert came 20 months later. Taking a rest for six years Ruth and Homer then welcomed son #3, Mark.
Soon after moving to the house on 37th Homer and Ruth joined Bethany Lutheran Church. Ruth was a woman of deep faith and active in all aspects of the church: teaching at Children’s Sunday School, hosting bible study, a member of the Alter Guild and Bethany Lutheran Church Women’s Club. The women’s club kept her busy with many activities including the weekly craft group which supported the annual bazar. Ruth and Homer went on many trips with their Church family. Ruth remained active at Bethany until her death.
While raising their boys on 37th Ruth volunteered as a Cub Scout Den Mother, a 4H Leader and with the parent/teacher activities at Kennedy Grade School. The family loved the annual camping trips to Trillium Lake and other spots up at Mt. Hood. The family also took many trips to Montana to visit Sister Hilda and niece Betty and her family. There were also many trips to Central Oregon visiting Homer’s family. In her 40’s Ruth suffered a stroke but with the help of neighbors and friends she was able to recover. Ruth cherished all the friends she made in the area of their home on 37th Avenue. Over time the neighbors may have moved away but their friendships remained strong.
Ruth had many hobbies. She loved to garden. Often taking cuttings from trips home from Connecticut and trying to get them to grow in our Portland climate. Summers found her canning everything; including pickles at least 10 different ways. Always trying out new recipes. Winter was time for crafting and puzzles. She loved playing cards and was a member of a Bunko group until last year. Though Ruth lived in Oregon she was a voracious letter writer and kept close contact with her siblings, nieces and nephews as well as friends from childhood, college and the war years.
Homer & Ruth retired in 1979. They purchased a four week time share in Kauai. They spent many happy vacations exploring Kauai and the other Hawaiian Islands with their Portland friends.
Three years after Homer passed away Ruth moved to Parkview Christian Living Community. There she led a very active life. Going on the weekly trips, crafting, working on puzzles, writing letters, reading the bible, one of her ten magazine subscriptions or someone’s biography, especially if they were from Connecticut. The staff lovingly cared for Ruth as she progressed from Independent to Assisted living.
Ruth was preceded in death by Homer, her parents and 11 siblings. She is survived her three sons: William (Janice), Robert (Marcia) and Mark (Lisa), seven grandchildren Sarah, Mary Field (Nicholas), Matthew (Melissa) Andrew (Brandi), David, Jacob & Aaron as well as two great-grandchildren, Miles and Aida Sleasman, Sister-in-law Anne Larson and numerous nieces and nephews.
A Memorial Service will be celebrated on June 2, at 11:00 AM at Bethany Lutheran Church. Ruth’s internment will be at Willamette National Cemetery where she will be interned with her husband, each having received full military honors.