Ruth Ann Dassen (née Raithel), age 64, of Mesa, Arizona, passed away Saturday morning, December 23, 2017, following a two-year battle with metastatic breast cancer. Ruth was born March 7, 1953 in Tempe, Arizona. She attended Coronado High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, graduating with academic honors and college scholarships in 1971. She then attended both Scottsdale Community College and Arizona State University, during which she was a member of Beta Alpha Psi, the National Accounting Fraternity. Ruth graduated from ASU with honors in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.
Ruth married Terrence ‘Terry’ Lee Baer in 1975 at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Phoenix, Arizona. She gave birth to two daughters, Sarah Kathryn (1977) and Laura Jean (1979). Although the marriage to Terry ended in 1987, she was a happy and spectacular single mother. She was very active with her daughters. She always displayed an interest in a diverse spectrum of hobbies which kept her very busy. She also demonstrated to her daughters the necessity of a good work ethic and professional aspiration by working hard on her 30-year long career with Arizona State University, her Alma Mater, culminating in the position of Director of Fiscal Operations and Human Resources.
Later in life, Ruth married Henricus ‘Henk’ Dassen. He was “the love of her life”. They were married in 2004 at Desert Cross Lutheran Church in Tempe, Arizona. They had a happy and loving marriage until Henk passed away in 2006. From then on Ruth was content to a life involving her children, family and friends.
Ruth is reunited in heaven with her husband Henk Dassen, parents Wilburn Julius ‘Bud’ and Dorothy Mae ‘Dot’ (née Tschirhart) Raithel, nephew Adam Raithel and her first husband, Terry Baer. She will be dearly missed and remembered by her daughters and sons-in-law, Sarah (née Baer) and Adam Crain and Laura Baer and Eric Jacobson, grandsons Harvey and Oscar Jacobson, daughter by marriage Victoria Dassen, brother and sister-in-law Jack and Annette (née Soucie) Raithel, and niece and family, Jennifer (née Raithel), James ‘Jim’ and Lyla Grace Newman. This does not begin to include additional family and friends, too many to name and count, who will always remember and cherish her life and memory.
Ruth was a lifelong Lutheran. She was a member of Prince of Peace, Spirit of Joy and Epiphany Lutheran Churches throughout her life. In these places of worship, and amongst others, she participated in and led various choirs, hand bells, youth music and ministries. She also was actively involved with the Lutheran Cursillo and Tirosh Movements of Arizona.
Ruth was passionate about quilting, an active and vocal proponent of Quilts of Valor, a non-profit organization making quilts for Veterans of our Armed Forces. She loved spicy food, a good margarita and Monday coffee night out with her best girlfriend, Rose. She was an excellent cook… that may be an understatement as many can attest to, especially her baked goods. She was an avid photographer and demonstrated her talent via her love of traveling and everything Arizona. She was often sharing photos of her trips far outside Arizona, weekend excursions and random day treks out into the desert. Most of all, though, she loved spending time with her family, especially her grandsons. They were everything to her.
Ruth will be missed by everyone who met her and has been described by those who knew and loved her as “a saint”, “a beautiful soul” and “a generous friend”. She was a beautiful person, inside and out… loving, kind, selfless, and giving. She lived a full and happy life and she will always be remembered.
There will be a memorial service honoring Ruth on Thursday January 4, 2018 at Desert Cross Lutheran Church in Tempe, Arizona at 11:00AM presided over by Pastor Steve Holm. Ruth’s daughters and immediate family invite all who attend the memorial to a celebration of her life at her home to reminisce, share stories, laughter and love following the service.