Ruth Lorraine (Lynde) Hahn was born to Medley and Lena (Kresse) Lynde on September 9, 1928; she was their third child, joining sisters Lucy and June in Sunnyside, WA.
Ruth’s father worked as a farmer, and her mother as a homemaker. When Ruth was four, she was given a baby brother, Dick, and the Lynde family was complete. The family persevered through the Great Depression, but WWII would bring a major change.
Ruth’s sister Lucy married and moved to Algona. A few years later, when Ruth was 16, the rest of the Lynde family followed Lucy to Algona to be together. Their Algona house was the first the family had owned and was 690 square feet on a quarter acre. Ruth was just a seven-minute walk from her new friends, Rita and Mary Jane Hahn, and eventually met their brother Pat. One week before Ruth’s 17th birthday, WWII ended, and Ruth ended up moving back to Sunnyside temporarily to complete high school since the move to Algona had negatively impacted her credits.
After graduation, she celebrated with a trip with five girlfriends to Victoria, B.C. Upon return, Ruth enrolled at Modern Beauty School in Tacoma and got her Cosmetology License by age 18. After beauty school, she moved to an apartment attached to her sister June’s home in Kent. She worked in two salons in Auburn before opening her own shop in Kent. She bought “Betty’s Beauty Shop” but kept the name. She was an ambitious, hard-working Betty!
Pat also became a regular in her life at this time, and they enjoyed going to the movies. They sometimes took his mother along, going as far as Tacoma on Friday or Saturday nights to a drive-up food place for tamales. On November 3, 1951, when Ruth was 23, she married Patrick Austin Hahn at the Holy Family Church in Auburn, where they would be lifelong parishioners. Ruth and Pat went on their honeymoon to California where they not only saw the great redwoods, but also drove through one. Just a few months later, the newlyweds would discover that Ruth was with child. By late in this first pregnancy, Ruth discontinued beautician work for the public and only did hair for family members; she had been in the workforce for five years. She always put family first.
At age 24, Ruth gave birth to her first child. It would be the beginning of what she’d call her toughest job (motherhood), and eventually crown her the matriarch of a family with over sixty members. She would give birth to seven more children, in addition to taking in at least three others and becoming a mom and grandma to the whole neighborhood AND continued to be engaged in the lives of her many nieces and nephews.
Before, during, and after raising her family, Ruth was fortunate to travel quite a bit. While she only flew by plane a few times, her and Pat’s favorites included driving to Reno, Mount Rushmore, St. Louis, Yellowstone, Seaside, and more, taking photos everywhere they went. They also owned a small, second home in Coulee City, and enjoyed the warmer climate “on the other side of the mountain.”
When Ruth wasn’t being a tourist, she had plenty of activities to keep her busy closer to home. She quilted, embroidered, baked, canned, read and did puzzles. She even belonged to a bowling league. Her most meaningful passion was volunteering at Pregnancy Aid where, for many years, she helped connect mothers in need with resources.
At age 45, Ruth became a grandmother for the first time. This was the realm where she truly shined. For the next 47 years, she delighted in oodles of grandchildren all across the state of Washington. She loved squeezing them all, and got a workout each January when she wrote all their birthdays on her calendar. Each baby was HER baby, and she had a way of making each child feel like her favorite.
At age 86, Ruth lost her loving husband Pat after 63 years, 3 months, and 12 days of marriage. All of those years in the same modest house, through better and worse, richer and poorer, and sickness and in health. They loved and cherished each other, until death did they part.
By age 92, Ruth began preparing to exit this world. She gathered her family round and said her peace. She savored her favorite foods. She got in her last baby snuggles. Her wish to be at home was honored, and she went naturally and peacefully with rosary in hand, on March 28, 2021.
Ruth is survived by six of her children and their spouses: Tom and Ruth Hahn of Neah Bay, Mary Sehlin of Edgewood, Mike and Debbie Hahn of Edgewood, Tim and Melissa Hahn of Coulee City, Dan and Cyndy Hahn of Bucoda, David and Cindy Hahn of Graham, along with 26 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and friends. She is predeceased by her parents Medley and Lena, her son-in-law Dave, daughters Theresa and Cathy, siblings June, Lucy, and Dick, great-great grandson Payton, and loving husband Pat.
The funeral service will be held on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, at 11am at Holy Family Catholic Church in Auburn with the Rosary being held 30 minutes prior. Visitation will be the evening before, on April 13 from 6-8pm at Sumner Voiles Chapel in Sumner.