Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Ruth Dorman


October 8, 2020

Ruth Dorman

Ruth Dorman

Ruth Ellingwood Dorman, 97, peacefully passed away on September 30, 2020, in Pullman, Washington. She was born April 15, 1923, in Madison, Wisconsin, the oldest of five children of Richard Everett Ellingwood and Ruth Ethelwyn Short Ellingwood. The family moved to Spokane, Washington, in 1937 when she was 14 years old. She graduated from Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane in 1941.

Ruth attended Washington State College, graduating with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Foreign Languages (French and Spanish) in 1946. She married Donald Orris Dorman, Jr., on September 3, 1946, and moved to LaCrosse, Washington, where their five daughters were born. They were lifelong members of the LaCrosse Methodist Church.

Ruth was a homemaker whose flowerbeds reflected the joy she found in gardening. She enjoyed hosting social gatherings and was a long-time member of Farm Club. Her love of music was passed down to her children and grandchildren, and was evident in her dedication to the church choir – as well as the sing-alongs she led at the family cabin on Priest Lake, Idaho. She was also a lifelong member of the Girl Scouts, including 50 years with The Inland Empire Girl Scouts. Ruth led the local Girl Scout troop in LaCrosse for many years; her daughters and many of her granddaughters followed in her footsteps and became Girl Scouts. She was an avid swimmer; when she was a girl her family spent summers on Little Saint Germain Lake in Wisconsin. Later, she swam and taught her family to swim at Priest Lake. She also loved reading and shared her devotion to reading with all her family. One of her daughters' favorite memories include the daily stories she would read aloud to them before "nap time."

Ruth was a lifelong proponent of teaching and education. When her daughters were older, she attended Eastern Washington University, graduating in 1971 with her Bachelor's of Elementary Education. She taught third grade at LaCrosse Elementary School for seven years, retiring in 1985. Two of her daughters and three of her grandchildren followed her example and also became teachers.

After retirement, Ruth enjoyed traveling with her husband Don and spending more time perfecting her bridge game. She also loved researching her family's genealogy, and would plan her trips to find out more about her family's history. She loved telling people stories of some of the information she found about the family tree, and was thrilled when her research led to her induction into the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Ruth is survived by her sister, Joyce Lee; her five daughters: Gail Seymour (Steve), Nancy Shank (Bob), Glenda Thie (Brian), Marcia First (Joseph), and Joyce Christie (Cody); her 13 grandchildren; and her 10 great-grandchildren. Her husband, Don; sisters, Mary and Janet; and brother, Richard, preceded her in death.

Private, Family graveside services will take place at LaCrosse Cemetery on Saturday, October 17 at 1:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial gifts be made to the LaCrosse United Methodist Church or the LaCrosse Scholarship Foundation. Please express your thoughts and memories on the online guestbook at bruningfuneralhome.com.


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