Our beautiful Mom, Ruth Tyra (Chastek) Tenold, died on Tuesday, November 27, peacefully at her home, just two days short of her 98th birthday. Her four sons and their wives are celebrating and remembering her remarkable life. We are Bob (Debbie), Jack (Tana), Greg (Jan) and Tyrus (Kathy).
Mom was born Nov 29, 1914, at Glen Lake, MN, the daughter of a rural mailman. She was raised in the country and talked often about riding with her dad on his mail route and picking raspberries on the family farm. All of us can testify that those raspberries were the best in the land. She briefly attended the University of Minnesota, entering at the age of 16! There she met her loving husband, John C Tenold, at a Golden Gopher football game. From then on Dad was a fan of the Golden Gophers and Ruth Chastek. They were married in Berkeley, CA on June 26, 1937.
After marrying Dad, she worked at the University of California for several years and then, during WWII moved to Bremerton. They started a family and Dad worked as a professional engineer at the Naval Shipyard. They moved to Spokane in 1950. In 1952 they purchased a small start up company, Spokane Steel Foundry. This was quite a feat since all they had to invest was Dad's expertise and their combined work ethic. The company continues today as a strong manufacturing employer now named Spokane Industries.
In the late 1950’s they discovered Hawaii, thanks to the generosity of June and Lloyd Lamb. They fell in love with the Islands on day one, and soon purchased a condo on Waikiki. From then on until Dad’s death in 1987, a death made easier by Mom’s constant and loving care, they never had a year without a long stay in Hawaii. Mom returned every year thereafter until travel became difficult for her.
Mom and Dad also loved beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene where they built their gorgeous summer home, Hale Ohana. From there Papa and Tutu could watch their ten grandchildren enjoy the lake just as they had watched their four sons.
Mom was a constant reader, and extremely interested in politics. Locally, she was one of those who, along with other activists, rode the bus to Olympia to fight for and eventually succeed in the founding of Spokane Community College. She fought to preserve hot lunches for children in Spokane schools during the 60’s.
By any measure, Mom had a successful and full life. She had a best friend in our Dad, and raised four sons who introduced beautiful daughters-in-law into the family. We’ve all managed to mostly stay out of trouble, and that’s a real credit to her. We’ve loved our Mom fully, and we rejoice that she was able to be in her own home when she passed quietly and gracefully from this world.
Mom was also preceded in death by her brother, George Chastek, and is survived by her sister, Bunny Christensen along with her ten grandchildren: Tana, Karena, Gavin, Garrett, Bryceson, Whitney, Ryan, Matthew, Allison, and Brittany, and seven great-grandchildren.
We want to thank Ruth’s best friends, Luba Fomin and Bonnie Moffatt. We also want to acknowledge the wonderful care provided by Tess Georgio, Sharon Knapp, and Tera Jo Hines from Home Instead. We ask that any gifts or remembrances go to Hospice of Spokane, P O Box 2215, Spokane, WA 99210, which so generously helped us in Ruth’s final days. The family will hold a private celebration of her life next spring/summer at the Hale Ohana lake home.