Ruth Marie Steiner Larson
Passed away on August 23, 2012, at 76 years of age,
at home in Berkeley, CA with her husband and family and caregivers, after a long and difficult illness with Parkinson’s Disease, and having received the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick by Fr. Bruno Gibson, OP.
Surviving are her husband Ronald, and her children Christopher, Peter and Hans, her Brother Harris Steiner, her daughters-in-law: Mary, Jennifer, and Anessa, her beloved grandchildren Katharine, Eric and Soren, Alexandra Ruth (in utero), and her nieces Laura Durbahn of Kerman, CA, Cynthia Ganz of Seattle, Elise Winter of Loomis, CA., nephew Carl Steiner of San Diego, and grand nieces and grand nephews. Ruth will be greatly missed by her dear friends: sorority sister and fellow teacher Celia Gunn Ginnado of Arlington Heights, Ill., Sra. Imelda Espiritu of Berkeley, and Christina Ahengua of Richmond. And also her classmates and friends from The Sigma Kappa sorority at UC Berkeley, and her classmates from Kerman HS., the parishioners and teachers at School of the Madeleine, and at St. Mary’s College HS.
A proud native of California, she was born at St. Agnes Hospital in Fresno. She graduated from Kerman HS with honors, Cheerleader, Girls Athletic Assn. and Tennis Team letters, International Quill and Scroll Society for Journalism, and a California Scholarship Federation (CSF) Member. The daughter of Thelma Harris Steiner, a California school teacher, and Rene Steiner, a Kerman raisin grower and RFD mailman. Ruth was a member of the The Order of Rainbow for Girls, and a California Raisin Queen. She was a 5-year 4H Achievement Award winner.
Following her brother Harris’s example, Ruth matriculated at UC Berkeley in 1953 and joined the Sigma Kappa sorority. Walking to class one day in her first year, she met her husband-to-be, and they began an odyssey for life. Ruth as: teacher, then through the active years of raising her boys, as an interior designer and her designs include offices and living areas for the Christian Brothers – De La Salle Institute Winery (her leaded glass door panels bearing the CB seal are still in use at the Sutter Home Winery in St. Helena, CA.) For nearly six years she was national sale representative for her partnership in the Abundance Winery in Sonoma. In the latter role she was thrilled to encounter a former member of her son’s class at the Madeleine – he was a competitor salesman at a dealer in Chicago. He afterward joked of losing that sale, as it was unfair to have to compete against “a Mom with all that charm.”
Meantime, she completed her studies at UC, graduating BA as an UC Alumni Scholar in the same ceremony with Ron gaining his JD. Now all of the Larsons were Cal Bears.
Ruth was active in the School of the Madeleine at their family parish: re-founding the Bridge Club, leading the Cub’s Scouts, and singing in Father Larry’s choir. The boys went on to the St. Mary’s College High School where she helped the Brothers of the Christian Schools, Eunice Jackson and other mothers, found the Belles of St. Mary’s as a scholarship organization for the school. She didn’t know “slow.” She spent her days and nights teaching, counseling, feeding and loving her family, gardening, playing the piano at midnite home sessions, dancing at the Parish parties, traveling with Ron, skiing with the boys, and as a member of the Art Deco Society of San Francisco.
Always a lady: raised by her Convent trained mother, she was initiated in 1953, by her new friend on Milvia Street, Pat Sager, to wear gloves and scarf and hat and take lunch at the City of Paris. A propriety she must have been one of the last to relinquish. But she wore her scarves and gloves until the day she died.
All Services will be at the St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church 2005 Berryman Street
Berkeley, California 94709 (510-526-4811 ) as follows:
Thursday, September 6th at 7PM – The Holy Rosary of the Virgin Mary; Friday, September 7th at 10:30AM – Mass – followed immediately by reception and refreshments in Norton Hall (directly under the Church — entry from the parking lot). Private interment services are pending.
SUNSET VIEW MORTUARY
Tel. (510) 525-5111