Ruth Irene (Leonard) Vahlberg, known to most by Ruthie, passed away June 16, 2021. She was born June 2, 1934 in Emmett at home, in the house her dad and Grandpa Leonard built on Cascade Road. Her parents were George and Vera (Hess) Leonard.
She married Barry Vahlberg June 22, 1952. They had four children: David, Jon, Eltona and Paula. They also had 13 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandson that was coming into the world as she passed. She loved her family with every fiber of her being. She never met a stranger and would have given her last dollar to help anyone.
Ruth worked hard at every job she ever held, in some cases she worked harder than the men. She and Barry lived in Nampa right after they married, but soon moved back to Emmett. They had a small dairy farm of 65 head of milk cows. Then in 1961 they moved to Sweet and ran the family egg farm. They had 5000 laying hens and gathered all the eggs by hand. Ruth, Barry and their three oldest children ran the business, all the eggs were shipped and sold to Albertsons in Emmett and the Treasure Valley. In 1968 the chicken house burned down and the family moved back to Emmett to help Ruth's mom run the family gas station, Leonard's Mobil Service across from the mill. Barry worked at the station and Ruth went to work building sidewalls for campers and trailers for Security Industries in Boise. She worked for them for 10 years. When they closed their doors she worked many different jobs in Emmett, sometimes three at a time.
In 1980 Ruth went to work for Creative Forest Products and worked for them until 1985. When her daughter, Tona, and her husband, John, bought the donut shop in town, she went to work for them. After about a year she went to work for Circle K in Emmett until her retirement in 1994. She took care of Barry with his Parkinson’s until he was placed in the nursing home in Boise. She drove to Boise every day and stayed with him till he went to bed, then came home. She did this for four years until he passed away in 2005.
Ruth was a wonderful, caring, and loving person. She was always available to help with her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She loved to sing to all of them, read poetry and books of all kinds, help with homework, help with sick children, run errands and always did them with a smile. Another passion Ruth had was for flowers of any kind. She especially loved iris and roses. Ruth also loved to dress up for Halloween or any occasion. She will be missed by everyone that knew her; she was the sunshine in the room! She was a very tough woman. Her granddaughter, Vanessa, said that “grandma was steel on the inside wrapped in cotton candy".
Ruth overcame many obstacles in life, she was in a bus wreck, a car wreck and many accidents that would have killed the normal person. After an accident in 1961, she died, and the doctor confirmed she had no heartbeat. She had an out-of-body experience and saw the doctor working on her. Then she was in a field of flowers, with colors so brilliant, the likes of which she had never seen. GOD spoke to her and asked her to stay, she said she wanted to go back to take care of her children. HE told her there would be lots of pain, she said she couldn't stay there with HIM. Thankfully, we did not lose her then! She instilled in her family the importance of loving and obeying GOD. We know she had a great reunion in Heaven! She would always say "Every day is a good day!" We love you Mom, until we meet again!
A Celebration of Life will be July 31, 2021 at 10:00 AM at the Emmett City Park. (At the covered shelter on the East side). Services are in the care of the Potter Funeral Chapel of Emmett.
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