In Memory of
Susan “Sue” Gale Ruiz
May 4, 1949–February 16, 2021
Susan Gale Ruiz, simply referred to as “Sue”, was born in Salem, Oregon on May 04, 1949 to Fran Folkstad & Richard Highberger. She lived throughout her youth and all her adulthood in Salem. She stayed faithful to her hometown and resided in Salem, Oregon her entire 71 years of life, where she raised all four of her kids, never once relocating. She attended North Salem High School but dropped out prior to graduation to join The Job Corp. The Job Corp provided her with both her G.E.D. and a whole new perspective on life. The diversity she encountered there was a welcoming experience that culturally educated her and would help shape her worldview and the rest of her life. Mom always taught us to embrace the differences in ourselves and other people. That we all were meant to be created differently but supposed to be treated equally.
Mom was a firm believer in God and the fact that we are all children of God. There are not enough words in our language to adequately describe what an amazingly beautiful person Mom was, nor the enormous pain that is felt with her passing when she succumbed to kidney failure on February 16, 2021. She never smoked, drank, or did drugs. It just demonstrates for us how unfair and unpredictable life really can be. We never expected her to leave us this soon.
While on earth, Mom was always an avid animal lover who advocated for animals any chance she got! She also enjoyed antiques, thrift-store shopping, interior decorating, watching documentaries, studying from the Bible, going on lunch dates with her daughter, listening to oldies & Gospel music, visiting with friends, and just getting out and cruising around town in her scooter. It will feel weird not to see her in her scooter riding up and down Broadway St, A.K.A “Sue’s Stomping Grounds.” It’s going to take quite a bit of time to get used to the neighborhood without her, as her absence is terribly noticed and felt!
She is survived by her ex-husband & father to her 4 children, Jesse Ruiz. Along with 3 grown children, 2 Daughter-in-Laws, 10 grandkids ranging in age from 2-24. Son Mario Ruiz, his wife Jennifer, his children Aleyah, Jackson, Calvin, Justin, Aurora. Son Marcos Ruiz, his wife Mary, their children Olivia & Liam. Her youngest child and only daughter Erica. Erica’s kids Izaiah, Natalya, Orlando. It should be noted that Mom was exceptionally close to these grandchildren. They had an exceptionally deep bond with their grandma!
She also leaves behind close family friend & caregiver Donna Castro, best friend Mark Marr, and beloved cat Toby (now in son Mario’s care). Shout out to her favorite Cherriots bus driver “Jerry”, who always brightened my mom’s days and held a special spot in her heart! Mom has never been the same since July 4th, 2019 when she experienced the sudden loss of her oldest son, Tino, at the young age of 44. It devastated our whole world, but nothing in comparison to Mom. She said, “a parent should never have to bury a child, no matter their age.”
We take comfort in the knowledge that our mother and brother are now together, and Mom is no longer going through the heartache of mourning him! We love you Mom & Tino and we will forever be missing you guys!!