Ruth Estelle Hutchinson, age 84, longtime Coupeville resident, passed away on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, at Home Place Special Care Center in Oak Harbor.
Ruth was born in Gonzales, Calif., on Oct. 10, 1933, to Francis Manley Sanford and Edith (McGuffin) Sanford. She was raised in Ripon, Calif., and graduated from Stanislaus State College in Turlock, Calif., with a bachelor degree in education. She pursued a productive teaching career, much of which was in Tahoe City, Calif.
Ruth married James Hutchinson in May 1969. In 1970, Ruth, Jim and their two sons embarked on a five-year sailing adventure in the South Pacific where they explored many remote islands. Ruth was primarily responsible for the navigation on this voyage, navigating by sextant. In 1975, they spent a year living in the Australian Outback, opal mining and living out of their Mini Cooper. Next they settled in Hawaii, where they had a successful business for a few years before moving to Vancouver, Wash., just in time for the Mount St. Helens eruption. In 1988, they relocated to Coupeville to be near their grandchildren.
Ruth taught as a substitute teacher at Coupeville Elementary until 2008. She loved music of all kinds and enjoyed teaching piano. Ruth became active in the Coupeville United Methodist Church, where she sang in the choir.
Ruth is survived by her two sons, Steven Hutchinson (Alana) and Dwight Hutchinson, both of Coupeville; two grandchildren, Chris Hutchinson of Pacifica, Calif., and Shannon Kopczuk (Ivan) of Gig Harbor; one great-grandson, Asher Kopczuk. She was preceded in death by her husband James in 2005.
Ruth loved animals and in keeping with her wishes, in lieu of flowers donations may be made to Whidbey Animal Improvement Foundation (WAIF). The family also encourages donations in her name to the Alzheimer’s Association. A private interment will be at Sunnyside Cemetery. Family and friends are encouraged to share memories and condolences at whidbeymemorial.com