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Ruth McFarland



Ruth McFarland, 86, a resident of Goldendale, Washington passed away Wednesday, June 6, 2012 in The Dalles, Oregon.

Ruth was born June 10, 1925 in Alma, Oklahoma the fourth of five children to Albert and Dorothy (Patterson) McFarland. She was raised and educated in Fox, Oklahoma graduating from Fox High School in 1943. After graduation from high school she worked for Douglas Aircraft at a plant that was built on part of the present day Tinker Air Force Base near Oklahoma City. They built C-47 Skytrain cargo aircraft and she was a “Rosie the Riveter.” After earning money, she enrolled at the University of Oklahoma in 1944. Ruth’s part time jobs when her daughters were young included being a reporter/photographer for the Yakima Herald and secretary for the Goldendale United Methodist Church.

Ruth received a bachelors degree in botany from the University of Oklahoma in 1954, a bachelors degree in education from Central Washington University in 1961, a masters degree in science education from the University of Oregon in 1966 and a PhD in genetics from the University of Oregon in 1971. She taught science and math in The Dalles, Goldendale and Arlington, Oregon from 1961 to 1967 and then taught anatomy at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon from 1971 to 1989. Ruth resided in Gresham, Oregon from 1971 to 2012. From 1981 to 1984 Ruth served as an Oregon State Senator and from 1989 to 1998 as a Portland Metro Councilor. In 1986 she was touring the Soviet Union with a group of U.S. women leaders when the Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurred. Ruth was also a member of the Western Bigfoot Society.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents and siblings.

She is survived by three daughters, Linda Blanchard and her husband Lyle of Goldendale, Washington; Nancy Logan, also of Goldendale and Lee McFarland of Mercer Island, Washington. Two grandchildren Holly Blanchard of Maryhill, Washington; Amy Cottrille and her husband Scott of Sammamish, Washington and three great-grandchildren Talia, Ian and Ronan Cottrille also survive.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice.

Arrangements by Spencer, Libby and Powell Funeral Home.


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