Ruth Tollenaar Behrendt passed away peacefully from a heart ailment on March 12, 2013. Ruth was born in Spokane, Washington to Roy and Alda Tollenaar and lived much of her life in Portland, Oregon. Ruth attended Kennedy Grade School, Grant High School and graduated from St. Helen's Hall Jr. College (now Oregon Episcopal School) in 1937. She later attended secretarial school where she excelled and made extra money administering tests for the faculty.
Ruth married Carl F. Behrendt in 1942 and they had two children together, Jim and Barbara. A busy working mother, Ruth held a number of secretarial jobs before joining The Hyster Co. in 1962, working there until her retirement in 1983. Despite her busy work schedule, she always made time for her family and was a dedicated wife and mother.
Ruth was a joy and touched the lives of so many, she will be greatly missed by all who knew her. She lived life to its fullest, traveling frequently, attending the theater and concerts and volunteering in her community. She was always curious about what was on the other side. She loved to play cards and her frequent group games filled her busy social calendar. She was an active member of The Irvington Club, Pi Omega Sorority and her church, Rose City Park Presbyterian.
She served as a caretaker to her mother in law, husband and mother over a ten year period and always remained upbeat and positive. She spent many of her later years sharing a duplex with her sister Margaret, where they each lived independently but were largely inseparable. Ruth moved into the CherryWood Village Retirement Community after Margaret's passing and made a number of new friends there over the past 8 years.
Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, Carl Behrendt; son, Jim Behrendt; and sister Margaret Brainerd. She leaves behind her brother, Kenneth Tollenaar of Eugene; her daughter, Barbara Mack of Portland; two grandchildren Andrea Szambelan of Santa Rosa, CA, Joseph and his wife Mardel Szambelan of Seattle, WA; and two great grandchildren Carter and Leah Szambelan of Seattle, WA; nieces and nephews Steve and his wife Linda Ray of Modesto, CA, Suzy Crane of So. California, David and his wife Mabel Tollenaar, of Seattle, Paul and his wife Marti Tollenaar of Eugene, and Laura Tollenaar of Portland. She also leaves behind her long time dear friend, Darlene Jones, of Portland, OR.
A service for Ruth will be held on March 30, 2013 at CherryWood Village Retirement Community in the Community Center Room on the second floor from 2-4 PM.