Jeanne Agnes Bell Ruth, age 72, passed away peacefully in her home in Redlands on Aug. 6.
Her four children, Judith Ann Sylva, Jill Ruth Rooks, Jan M. Roberts, Clifford J. Ruth had been by her side over the last few weeks while in hospice care at her house. She was the wife of the late Clifford Gary Ruth, whom she was married to for 39 years.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, to Agnes Isabele Roeder Bell and Robert John Bell, on January 9, 1947, she was the oldest of six children.
She leaves behind her mother, Agnes Isabele Roeder Bell, 92 years old, residing in Sequim, Wash., along with her brother Ken Bell and sister-in-law Lucille Bell of Columbus, Ohio, “Brother Rusty” Bell of Boise, Idaho, and her sisters Robin Lunger of Pennsylvania, Sandy Snook and brother-in-law Jack Snook of Lafayette, NJ and Annemarie-Bell Grey and brother-in-law Bob Grey of Sequim, Wash.
Lovingly referred to as the “Out-Laws” on the Ruth side, she leaves behind sister-in-law Mary Ruth of Missouri, sister-in-law Ellen Ruth of New Mexico, and Cliff’s youngest brother, Marc Ruth, married to sister-in-law Monica Ruth of Torrance.
Upon moving from New Jersey to California in 1985, Jeanne completed her bachelor’s degree from California State University, San Bernardino along with her teaching credential.
This began her teaching career at Northpark Elementary School, where for 18 years she worked with first through third grade students, culminating in her retirement in 2007.
During this time, Jeanne enjoyed many physical outlets including running/walking with the Loma Linda Lopers.
Her adventures resulted in many lifelong friendships and in the accomplishment of completing a marathon in all 50 states. She was proof to many that age was just a number and that it is never too late to do something new and challenging.
Once her marathon goal was completed, she turned to triathlons, learning how to properly road cycle and taking up swimming lessons. She participated in 37 triathlons, often placing in her age group, and qualifying for nationals and international ranking. Jeanne was a student of life and did the mental work of meditation and studies on joy to sharpen her inner athlete.
Jeanne was a devoted mother and grandmother. She found herself surrounded by eight grandchildren ranging in age from 3-years-old up to 25 years old. She cherished hearing their stories and adventures and she and Cliff did everything they could to support their educational endeavors (past, present and future). David Sylva, (25 years old) alumnus of University of Oregon and CSUSB, master’s degree in national security Studies and Molly Sylva, (21 years-old) graduate of Western WA University are children of daughter, Judith Ann Sylva and son-in-law Mike Sylva. Brendan Rooks (20 years-old) currently attending University of California, Riverside and Natalie Rooks (18 years-old) entering University of California, Santa Cruz in 2019 are children to daughter, Jill Ruth Rooks and son-in-law Sean Rooks. Simon Roberts (16 years-old) attends Mira Mesa HS and Sebastien Roberts (13 years-old) attending Challenger Middle School are children of daughter Jan M. Roberts and son-in-law Dave Roberts. Bryson Ruth (9 years-old) attending Calvary Christian School and Ella-Jayne (3 years-old) are children to son Clifford J. Ruth and daughter-in-law Nikki Ruth.
Jeanne brought light to everyone she met and is remembered by dozens of nieces and nephews, cousins, sisters-and-brothers-in-law, hundreds of fellow runners, swimmers, cyclists, Energy Lab Family, Loma Linda Lopers, Northpark teachers, yoga and pilates friends, Solera neighbors, Full Pour Women and so many in the community of Redlands from Augie’s Coffee Shop to the YMCA to The Energy Lab, to the hills to hike on and the University of Redlands to stroll in.
She has inspired many to consider running the marathon of life in every way. Jeanne learned that joy is found on the road one takes, to “remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination” and that “every moment is a fresh beginning,” ~ T.S. Eliot.
A Celebration of Jeanne’s life will be held Friday, Aug. 30 at 3 p.m. at Cortner Chapel in Redlands.
Flowers are welcome or memorial donations may be made to National Parks Conservation Association or to the American Heart Association.