Ruth Smith



April 10, 1936 — April 28, 2020

Ruth Elaine Smith of Dale, Oregon, was born April 10, 1936, in Lingle, Wyoming, the daughter of Ralph Oren and Mary “Ellen” (Hattan) Dillon. She passed away in Hermiston on April 28, 2020, at the age of 84.

Ruth married Lennie “Jack” Smith on October 13, 1951, and then again on January 22, 1960. She was the mother of Jeanne, Cherri, Wynell, Otis and Esther, and she helped raise her husband’s nephew, Joseph Tuning.

Ruth lived in the Ukiah-Dale, Oregon, area since 1966. She worked for the Ukiah Forest Service as a temporary Forest Service technician and a road crew laborer. She used a chain saw to clean ditches and culverts. We were all proud of her ability to use a chain saw. She was still using a chain saw last summer to cut her own firewood. One of her main accomplishments was working as a sawyer at the Ukiah Mill.

Ruth loved painting, gardening (all organic) flowers, vegetables and herbs. She never sought recognition, but she loved creating and giving jean valor quilts (over 100) to service men and women. She delighted in the giving of warmth and love to everyone. Her last day of sharing with us was on April 28, 2020. We will forever miss you!

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Lennie “Jack” Smith in 1999; brothers Lawrence Melvin Dillon in 1930, Clarence Glen Dillon in 1933 and Raymond Oren Dillon in 2011; sister Ada Jane Couch in 2017; great-granddaughter Kanatha LeeAnne Soper in 2008; nephew Joseph A. Tuning in 1990; and her special friend Roberta Bennett in 2019.

She is survived by her children Jeanne and husband Steve Munkers, Cherri Smith, Wynell and husband Gary Roberts, Otis and wife Penny Smith, and Esther Smith; 14-year companion John Ralph Snow; brother Dwight Dillon; 17 grandchildren; two stepgreat-grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial will be held later this summer in Ukiah after the social distancing requirements have been minimized.

Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in care of arrangements. To leave an online condolence for the family, please go to

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