November 20, 1950 – April 8, 2019
Hatch, a small farming town in Southwest New Mexico known for growing its popular Hatch gourmet chili, was the birthplace of Rufugio Sanchez on November 20, 1950. Her parents, Leonardo and Elvira Sanchez worked the farm owned by her Grandfather picking chile, cotton and other crops. Ruth recalls when her home, a small adobe structure, got its first indoor plumbing. In the mid-1950s, many young families emigrated to Southern California to work in the aerospace industry. Ruth’s family was among them. Cuca, as she is affectionately known by her family, started grade school in Compton and recalls crying all day her first week of school because Spanish was the only language spoken at home and the only language she knew. So, how did Refugio become Ruth? It seems her teacher could not pronounce Refugio and thought Ruth was close enough and the family accepted it. Refugio preferred to be called Ruth and made it her legal first name as soon as she could.
After graduating from high school in Norwalk, she attended Cerritos College receiving an AA in nursing. It was shortly after that she met Eddie while celebrating her cousin’s birthday. After two years of dating, they were married in 1971.
Ruth spent twenty-five years working in the Orange County Auditor/Controllers office and the Probation Department representing the County in court. After thirty-three years in Anaheim Hills, Ruth and Eddie moved to Yorba Linda in 2009.
Ruth enjoyed many things, Disneyland, quilting, making elaborate Easter baskets for children in the extended family, skiing, golf, tennis, Broadway musicals, traveling, exploring big cities, cruises and tours of Europe and Central and South America. Most of all, she enjoyed people and doing things for people. She was generous with her time giving of it freely to her family, church and friends. Even in her last days, as she was undergoing chemo and immunotherapy, Ruth was helping an elderly family friend by taking her to the doctor and shopping for groceries. In minutes, she could transform a stranger into a friend. The friendships she formed in high school endured her entire life. She loved her grandchildren immensely. Her cupboard was always stocked with their favorite snacks and according to them, she made the best macaroni and cheese in the known universe. At home, at work and at church, she was a very well organized and reliable neat freak. Her soft, happy smile and bright eyes hid an iron will to do right, be truthful and never complain.
Her battles with cancer started when, at 44, she had stage three advanced breast cancer and was given less than 50% chance of survival. She beat that by 24 years. Her latest battles started three years ago with the loss of a kidney. When it was removed, the doctor told her to go live her life; it wouldn’t spread from there. But it did. She climbed Machu Pichu in late 2017. Symptoms started up again in early 2018, it had metastasized. Her oncologists told her it was incurable, but they would try to make her comfortable as long as possible. The cancer spread first to her lungs, then her spine, both femurs and an arm. That year when asked what she wanted to do for what was to be her last Mother’s Day, she chose a day at Dodger Stadium with the family, watching a ball game and eating Dodger Dogs
A life-long Christian, Ruth had been an active member of the Church of Jesus Crist of Latter-Day Saints and more recently while studying the book of John, accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. Ruth took her last breath on April 8, 2019. She is survived by Eddie, her husband of 48 years, son, Michael and his wife Maritza of Anaheim Hills, Step daughters Mary Garbo, Oceanside, California and Linda Angulo and husband John, Corona, California, sister Alice Campos of Walnut, brothers Leonard Sanchez and wife Agnes of Escondido and Robert Sanchez and wife Lori of Yorba Linda. There’s eight grandchildren, Johnnie, Jake, Hannah, Jason, Jeffrey, Derek, Alexandra and Joshua and four great grandchildren, Savanah, Adaline, Adam and Alijah.
- Visitation Sunday, April 21, 2019
- Funeral Service Monday, April 22, 2019