Ruth Germaine “Perkins” Semanko, loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and dear friend passed away November 12, 2020. She was affectionately known as Honey, Ruth, Mom, Sis, Baby Sis, Aunt Sis, Gramma, Oma, Bama and G.G. Ruth was born in Metaline WA. September 12, 1940 to Hubert Raymond Perkins and Gertrude Helen “Johnson” Perkins. Attending high school at the IHM Academy in Coeur d’ Alene ID, Ruth met and married her high school sweetheart, Terrill “Terry” W. Semanko. They married at St. Thomas Catholic Church on April 18, 1959. They had four children: Virginia, Katrina, Joel and Sandy. Their family grew to include 9 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren.
Ruth continued her education in business administration management, nursing and massage therapy. She was adventurous, encouraging, fearless and faithful. Many years of hunting, fishing, camping and gold mining were spent with lifelong family and friends. One of her earlier adventures included driving a pickup truck with an oversized camper on the ALCAN Hwy, a two-lane dirt road, from Alaska through the Yukon Territory to the USA in the early 1970’s. By example and words, she encouraged her children that they could do or be anything they put their mind to.
Terry’s construction career and family allowed Ruth and Terry to travel throughout the Pacific NW and live in New Mexico and Oregon. They lived in Post Falls ID while their children were in school and since reside in Coeur d’ Alene ID.
Ruth’s friends and family will dearly miss her genuine sincerity and interest in others. She had a sweet presence and ability to bring comfort through a kind word, simple hug, quiet prayer or gentle squeeze of your hand. Throughout her life, Ruth was not a stranger to the loss of loved ones. Her empathy brought comfort and strength to help people get through the tough times of illness, crisis, uncertainty and death.
Ruth was an accomplished pianist. She also played the organ for church services, weddings and funerals. Ruth played the piano in the evenings to restore peace and comfort in her mind and heart.
Friendships, gardening, prayers, gatherings and God’s Word were essential ingredients in Ruth’s recipe for the soul. Every visit would include an invitation for some home cooking, potluck or buffet style meals. She had a special green box you could count on being filled with a variety of her best homemade cookies. Sometimes these treats made it to us in a small Ziploc bag delivered with a hug and a smile. Everyone was invited and welcomed, strangers became friends and small groups became large groups. As Ruth progressed in age, she would tell us “I’m not able to cook as much anymore so you’ll have to fend for yourselves,” “Okay mom;” then upon arrival we’d see “Mom’s Kitchen” had been reopened and enough food for a family reunion was waiting. It is a special tradition, and we will enjoy carrying it forward for generations to come.
Poetry, journaling, writing letters and cards were staples in Ruth’s life. No matter what was happening in her life, she always made time to send a special note or card after a visit or gathering. She had a special book with birth dates, anniversaries and special occasions. Over the years there has been a special collection of heartfelt correspondence from Ruth to memorialize and recount the love she shared with all of us.
She’d tell loved ones that when she died to know in our hearts she will be in a new place, a special place, Heaven and that she will find and gather with all those family and friends that went before her. Ruth believes that she will continue to be with each of us in spirit, within a special moment, a smile, a thought, a laugh, a song, a dream, a quiet moment alone and certainly, a gathering.
Ruth would tell us she was so thankful for the love she received from Terry over the past 62 years of marriage, the joy she has received from her four children and energy from her grand and great grandchildren. Every friendship over the years holds a special place in her heart. There will be a gathering planned for all of Ruth’s family and friends, to include a Catholic Mass Service and Celebration of Life in June 2021.
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