Golf 02


March 23, 1956 ~ February 26, 2024 (age 67) 67 Years Old


Ruth Angela Vowels      

March 23, 1956 - February 26, 2024 (age 67)

It’s with sadness and joy that we announce the passing of our beloved sister, aunt, great-aunt, cousin and friend Ruth Angela Vowels. She died peacefully during the night on February 26, 2024, in Bellevue, Washington after many years of illness.  Ruth lived an adventurous and independent life and will be an enduring inspiration to all those she touched.

Ruth was born on March 23, 1956, at Gritman Memorial Hospital in Moscow, Idaho to Donovan Eugene Vowels (1922-1958) and Patricia Carrol Lynch Vowels (1926-2000).  Ruth was the third of four children.  When Ruth was three years old her father died of melanoma cancer.  In the spring of 1961, her family moved from their rural home in Princeton, Idaho to Moscow, Idaho where Ruth attended kindergarten at St. Rose’s and first grade at St. Mary’s Catholic School.

Ruth had several serious illnesses as a small child and was diagnosed with significant learning disabilities at the age of seven.  In search of better opportunities for Ruth, in 1966, her mother moved her family to Bellevue, Washington which had a school district with programs for kids with learning disabilities. Ruth never complained about her learning disabilities or let them slow her down. As a matter of fact, she’d argue she was normal and you’re the one with issues!

Ruth thrived, worked hard, and was always anxious to learn, which helped her graduate from Interlake High School with her class of 1974. After high school Ruth was ambitious and continued to have a thirst for learning and improving herself.  She completed programs at Kenmore Beauty School and Gene Juarez School.  Ruth worked full-time for over 30 years at several different jobs, including major Corporations like Marriott, Microsoft, and Pro Health Club.  She was a conscientious employee often getting to work an hour early so she could get a jump on the workday.

At Microsoft, Ruth worked for several years as a valued member of a manufacturing team; these teams worked together in the High Employee Involvement program which relied on employee ideas for improving productivity and quality.  She did assembly work in one of the teams at a round table, assembling the contents of various Microsoft packaged products.  Ruth’s manufacturing team was the centerpiece of the memorable Windows 95 product launched in 1995 which was the biggest packaged product software launch in the history of all software companies worldwide.

Before she had a driver’s license, Ruth memorized metro bus schedules and moved around exploring the Greater Seattle Area.  Ruth eventually desired more independence and worked hard to get a driver’s license after years of studying.  With her driver’s license in hand, she took weekend road trips to places like Long Beach and Birch Bay.  Ruth was very good at compensating for what she didn’t know and learned how to use resources at the public library to improve her skills.  She enjoyed listening to audio books, watching movies, and learned how to quilt.  Ruth loved her nieces and nephews and enjoyed spending time with them. Ruth’s zest for independence and adventure took her on international cruises and a trip to Ireland by herself. 

One of Ruth’s most enjoyable things to do as an adult was to compete in the Special Olympics bowling and golf events, where she won numerous medals. Ruth also walked away with the coveted Hat Island Golf Championship!

In 2013, Ruth’s health began to wane, and she eventually lost her treasured independence.  With her usual disdain for giving in, she fought the inevitable.  It was time for her to give up her beloved driver’s license, her aspirations of more adventure, and move into a stage of total dependence.  Ruth suffered from many illnesses including Lewy Body Dementia.

You can’t talk about Ruth without talking about her “Lattes”.  She loved them, no matter what you put in to them.  When Ruth was healthy, the first thing she would do in the morning was go to her favorite barista, sit in her favorite chair, sip her coffee and watch everyone around her come and go.  Once Ruth became ill, if you showed up to visit her with a latte, her eyes lit up with arms reached out.  Ruth’s in heaven now with unlimited Venti Carmel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino!

Ruth is survived by her sister, Nancy Monroe (Kevin), her brothers, Anthony Vowels and Martin Vowels (Pam), her nieces Lindsay Miller (Jed), Erin Douma (Brent), Kaity Vowels (Jeff Cooke), and her nephews, Craig Monroe (Gabby) and Brandon Vowels, and grandnieces and grandnephews, Asher Miller, Nora Miller, Peter Douma, Adelaide Douma, Donovan Monroe, Roman Monroe, Joshua Monroe, Alex Monroe, Mara Cooke and Val Cooke.  Plus, aunts and many cousins.

The family wishes to thank the physicians, guardians and caregivers who helped Ruth along the way, specifically Dr. Joe Doucette, Karen Darrin, Mildred and Romeo Edrozo, plus Scolia and her fantastic team at Peaceful Heart Adult Family Home.

Ruth will be laid to rest next to her beloved mother and father at Greenwood Cemetery in Palouse, Washington on Saturday, March 23, at 2:30 PM. After the service, at 4 PM, the family will host a “Celebration of Life” for Ruth at the Best Western Plus University Inn at 1516 West Pullman Road, Moscow, Idaho.

Kramer Funeral Home, Palouse, Washington is caring for the family. Online condolences may be left at

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Graveside Service
March 23, 2024

2:30 PM
Greenwood Cemetery, Palouse, WA, Washington

Celebration of Life
March 23, 2024

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
MOSCOW, ID 83843




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