Z. Ruth Croft, October 24, 1930 to October 10, 2020
An amazing woman entered the Kingdom of Heaven Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. She lived a life that many only aspire to, having loved, comforted and inspired her family and friends.
Z. Ruth Croft was born to Joseph and Lissy (Willis) Worthey Oct. 24, 1930 in Kansas City, Mo. She was the youngest of five children, following Juanita, Marvin, Rosemary, and Lorene. The family moved to Oregon in 1938 and settled near Bridal Veil. Ruth attended school in Portland and graduated from Clinton Kelly Commerce High School in 1948. Ruth’s given name was Zelma, something she did not like. She often shared the story of going to school and telling her teachers her name was “Ruth.” Her mother was not happy when she learned that Ruth had not told anyone at school her legal name was Zelma. Many of her family knew her as Zelma, or “Aunty Zelma” while other family members had no idea that was her given name. She married Lester “Ray/Bud” Croft in 1950 and they had four children: Judi, Carrie, Merrianne and Skip.
Ruth spent most of her life in the S.W. Portland areas of Garden Home, Multnomah and Tigard. Since 1950, Ruth shared her energy and love of people at Multnomah Presbyterian Church, where she was a member, wedding coordinator, and a board member of Dove Christian Preschool. She was a resident of Walla Walla, Wash., since 2018.
She was the manager of Crescent Grove Cemetery from 1964 until 1994, serving as a board member until June 2014. She established an outdoor Easter Sunrise Service at the cemetery in 2001 which continues today. Ruth was also the first woman to be elected as President of the Oregon Cemetery Association, serving from 1982 – 1984.
In 1978 Ruth was involved with saving the John Tigard House and forming the Tigard Historical Association where she was a charter member. She had a large circle of friends from her involvement with Washington County Extension and a local antique club. The antique club toured the Willamette Valley to expand their knowledge of antiques and local history. She was an avid antique collector and enjoyed quilting and knitting. Ruth also loved spending time gardening, working in her yard, and home canning.
Ruth was very interested in her children’s and grandchildren’s activities and loved seeing photos and talking on the phone about their most recent sporting event, accomplishment or 4-H/FFA project. Her calendar was always filled with important dates, birthdays and anniversaries. She had a genuine fondness for babies and weddings.
Always a die-hard Blazer fan, Ruth was a season ticket holder for many years. She had an extensive collection of Portland Trailblazer memorabilia, and never missed watching or listening to a Blazer game.
Ruth is survived by her four children, Judi (Steve) Graeper, Carrie Mullen, Merrianne (Brian) Key and Skip (Judi) Croft; and 13 grandchildren, Melyssa Graeper, Emily (Preston) Stanfill, Hillary (Jordan) Beck, John Mullen, Ben (Jenny) Mullen, Thomas Mullen, Hannah (Josh) Figini, William (Jenny) Mullen, Isaiah Mullen, Marcus (Lauren Anne) Key, Alli Key, Courtney Croft and Coleman Croft. Ruth will be missed by her 15 great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
In lieu of flowers please consider donating to Tigard Historical Association/John Tigard House Museum, P.O. Box 230402, Tigard, OR 97281 or Multnomah Presbyterian Church, 7555 S.W. 45th Ave., Portland, OR 97219.
A viewing will be held from 1 – 4 p.m., Friday Oct. 23, 2020, at Springer and Son/Aloha Funeral Home, 4150 S.W. 185th, Aloha, OR. A private service for immediate family only will be held Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. A Celebration of Life memorial service for family and friends will be held in 2021.