Ruth LaVerne Bridge
July 18, 1939 — Jan. 22, 2019
Ruth L. Bridge, age 79, of Rathdrum, Idaho, died peacefully in her home, surrounded by family, after a short but courageous battle with cancer. She was born in Benton Harbor, Mich., to William and Hattie Yates. While growing up in Michigan she enjoyed summers at her Grandpa Foster’s farm in Hinton, W.Va. — this is where her passion for country living and animals began. Eventually, her mom moved Ruthie and her siblings to Baldwin Park, Calif.
At the age of 13, she met the love of her life, Ralph Bridge. After a few years of going steady, they eloped in Salome, Ariz., on Feb. 13, 1956. It was on one condition: that Ralph would always provide a beloved horse for Ruthie to ride. He kept his promise for the entire 62 years of marriage, making their love story one for the history books. They decided to start a family and were blessed by their first son, David, in 1959, followed by a beautiful daughter, Kimberly, in 1968.
They spent the first several years of their marriage saving $10,000 to move their family up north to the country where she longed to be. Cottonwood, Calif., was the perfect setting to feed her passion for the outdoors and raise her children. It was there that they built a few homes on ranch land and purchased a local glass company. During this time their lives were further enriched by the birth of their baby boy, Kevin, in 1978. Through these years in Northern California, Ruthie enjoyed boating on Shasta Lake, catfishing, camping up Hat Creek and spending time with her sisters, Jo, Marie and their families.
In 1991, after selling their land and successful business, they decided to move further north to Rathdrum, Idaho, where her adult kids followed. Here they spent a majority of the years on their beautiful mountainous property, with horses of course. They also purchased a convenience store and put 4,000 miles on their Jeep, following Kevin to baseball fields around the region.
In 1997, she was able to retire, giving her more time for doing things she loved like painting, poetry, gardening and crafts. But her heart and soul was dedicated to sitting front row at all of her grandkids’ and great-grandkids’ activities and achievements, with Ralph at her side. She was a dedicated wife, mother and grandmother all the days of her life.
The people who knew her best would describe her as wise, influential, inspiring, energetic, loving, adventurous, ambitious, caring and a courageous woman who made every person she met a friend. She lived life to the fullest, from zip-lining in Vegas to rollerskating, river rafting, horseback riding and rollercoasters (in her seventies); she was an extraordinary lady. She loved the holidays, hosting family birthday parties and playing poker. Her house was the hub for family and friends to gather.
Ruthie has left behind a great legacy in her family. She will be deeply missed but live on forever in our hearts.
She is survived by her loving spouse, Ralph Bridge of Rathdrum; children, David Bridge of Spirit Lake, Idaho, Kimberly Winters of Post Falls, Idaho, and Kevin (Angie) Bridge of Dalton Gardens, Idaho; grandchildren, (preceded in death by her first granddaughter) Stacey, Jayme (Trevor) Gayman, Ashley Bridge, Jake Nielsen, Amanda Hall, David Winters, Daniel Winters, Kyle Bridge and Kyndal Bridge; great-grandchildren, Emma, Kolton, Kiarra, Rylee and Mikayla; as well as several nieces and nephews, Denise (Ray) Hansen and her loving Australian shepherd, Shep.
The family held a small graveside service on Feb. 1, 2019.
Yates Funeral Home has been entrusted with the care of final arrangements.