Obituary: Ruth Ellen Anderson Allin

Mother, grandmother, teacher, chemist, volunteer, church worker

Ruth Allin died May 24. She was in hospice care at Pilgrim Place Health Services Center following a brief illness.

She was born September 13,1938 in Bakersfield, California to William Bert and Marie Anderson. She was the youngest of three children. Ruth attended George Washington High School in Los Angeles, and studied at MacMurray College for Women in Jacksonville, Illinois.  After graduation she married David Allin, who became a Lutheran pastor. They had two children, Patricia and Michael.

She taught mathematics, science and other subjects to junior high school students in Illinois. She considered herself an educator from a very young age. “As a child she would line up her dolls and teach them a Sunday school lesson,” her family shared. In the 1970s she worked as a chemist at the Quincy Soybean Company and then as a supervisor at the City of Quincy’s water waste treatment facility.

In the 1980s she managed a pilot program for social ministry as a volunteer, where with other volunteers she worked to develop a process to dismantle racism in the Metropolitan Chicago Synod. This led to a 20-year career working in the Chicago headquarters of the newly formed Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, first with congregational social ministry team and then with the worship team.

In 2003 she completed her master’s degree at DePaul University. Her thesis examined models of leadership in religious institutions. In 2006 she served on the staff that developed the new Evangelical Lutheran worship hymnal.

After visiting Pilgrim Place many years earlier, in 2016 she decided to make her home in Claremont. She loved visiting with her friends, knitting, painting, swapping jokes and most especially her cat, Penelope.

She was preceded in death by her brother, William Anderson; sister, Eileen Ragsdale; niece Denise Hickey, and her husband Greg Hickey.

She is survived by her daughter and son in law Patricia and Tim; son Michael and his wife Kathy; and grandchildren Benjamin and Rachel. Her many nieces and nephews will also miss her, including Gwen, her husband Bob, and their children Jennifer and Patrick; and Debbie and Lou and their children Thomas, Zachary, Donna and John.

“We would like to thank Alison Stendahl for the wonderful photo of Ruth,” her family added. “We would also like to thank the staff at Pilgrim Place and Pilgrim Place HSC along with VNA hospice for all their help and support during her final journey.”


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