Ruth Elaine Leerhoff
October 28, 1929 – May 18, 2020
Ruth E. Leerhoff, 90, a very special Aunt, Sister and Friend peacefully was ushered into the presence of her Lord on May 18, 2020 in Fresno, CA. Born on October 28, 1929 in Butler County, Allison, Iowa, the daughter of Heiko and Bernice (Hook). Ruth grew up amongst a large extended family with 14 aunts and uncles and 16 cousins. She graduated from Iowa State Teacher’s College in Cedar Falls, Iowa with her lifelong friend, Shirley Wirkler, taking her first teaching job in Shell Rock, Iowa. Ruth had a natural curiosity and love for reading and books that led to a Master’s Degree in Library Science from the University of Colorado in Denver and moved to Fresno, California as a librarian at Fresno State University. In December 1964 she joined the San Diego State College library staff as an assistant catalog librarian. Over the next 30 years she helped transform the library system at San Diego State University from microfilm to online digital books and periodicals. As the head librarian at SDSU, Ruth was instrumental in curating the more than 30,000 rare books, manuscripts, artifacts within the Special Collections University Archives, alongside with the Friends of the Library, in addition to promoting intercultural events on campus such as Freedom Arts Festival. Upon retiring in 1992, Ruth stayed active as a member of the Society of California Archivists, San Carlos Garden Club and supported many San Diego foundations including Mission Trails Regional Park. Throughout her life, Ruth enjoyed gardening, music and playing the piano, visiting other countries, experiencing the different culture, food and language, all the while taking photos to share with her family and friends back home. She shared many vacations with her nieces and nephew and friends throughout California and the national parks, hiking and camping, and she especially enjoyed playing tour guide to her favorite landmarks in her adopted hometown of San Diego. Ruth has been a faithful servant of the Lord and a member of San Diego Gospel Hall and Fresno Gospel Hall for more than 60 years. Proceeded in death by her parents. She is survived by her brother, Robert; three nieces Susan (Rick) Hemb of Sanger CA, Cindy (Bob) Salstone of Phoenix AZ, Sharon (Joel) Aguilar of Fresno CA; nephew John (Sandy) Leerhoff of Marysville WA; three great nieces Crystal (Trey) Hemb Hodges of Clovis CA, Alexandra (Matt) Leerhoff Green of Queensland Australia, Savannah Aguilar of Fresno CA; four great nephews Joshua, Justin and Jenkin Leerhoff of Marysville WA and Solomon Aguilar of Fresno CA. Visitation services will be 4:00 pm Wednesday, May 27, 2020, at Lisle Funeral Home in Fresno California with limited attendance due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Her body will be transported on Friday, May 29, 2020 to El Camino Memorial Park in San Diego for burial. Donations to honor and celebrate Ruth’s life and memory may be made to the Friends of the Library-San Diego County Library, Truth & Tidings Gospel Trust and/or Our Daily Bread Ministries..
- Susan Hemb, Niece
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Ruth Elaine Leerhoff
May 24, 2020
My children attended the gospel hall with ruth's nieces and always called her "Auntie Ruth". They still remember the book "Twenty-two Bears" she gave them many years ago. I know Robert and the girls will miss her. carlene putler
May 21, 2020
Ruth really loved her family - and her roses. After she retired from San Diego State, she remained active and became a member of the Friends of the Library board of directors. Before the meetings, she would often stop by the Dean's office with a bouquet of homegrown roses - the really fragrant kind. She was a very special woman.