From To the Descendants of Rufus L & Ruth Parker, compiled by Rufus W. Parker:
"In 1938 the Reverend Cushing Eells and the Reverend Elkanah Walker established a mission about 30 miles northwest of the present site of Spokane. This was known as Tshmakian mission, later called Walker's Prarie. The mission was closed at the time of the Whitman massacre in 1847. On a trip through northeast Washington with the army Guy Haines was attracted to the area. He returned to Walkers Prairie in 1860 and established a claim on the mission property. He farmed there for many years, and in 1880 married his housekeeper, Alzada McQuinn, who had two daughters, Blanche and Rita.
Here in Walkers Prairie, on July 26, 1884, Ruth Haines was born. Her childhood was spent on the farm and attending school at Walkers Prairie and at nearby Springdale. In about 1900 Alzada and her three daughters moved to Spokane. Here Ruth attended Spokane High School, graduating in 1905.
In 1906 Ruth married Rufus L. Parker and moved to the little town of Paha south of Ritzville. For the first few years in a small town she had little to do, so apparently became interested in several hobbies, two of them being photography and woodburning. In 1909 her first daughter, Ruth was born. About 1911 the flour mill in Paha closed down, followed by several other businesses. The bank where her husband was employed closed and the family moved to Cashmere. It was here that son Jay Jerome was born. The family soon moved to nearby Leavenworth where another son, Rufus, was born. Soon came another move, this time to Tacoma. Ruth must have been kept busy with the children and packing and unpacking in these many moves.
In Tacoma the son Jay Jerome passed away on November 6, 1914. After two moves within Tacoma the family settled down at 818 North Adams. Here daughter Virginia was born on August 6, 1916. Then another son, David, on July 17, 1918, and finally daughter Jean on November 8, 1920. In 1945, when he was about three years old, grandson Alan Schlank (young Ruth's son) came to live with his grandparents. He lived there and attended school in Tacoma and at the Washington State School for the blind until he moved to Washington DC to attend Georgetown University.
Ruth was a devoted and loving mother in raising her family and her grandson. She enjoyed helping and encouraging the children with their music and education. She became very active in the PTA and served as vice-president of the Washington State Association. Ruth was also an active member of the First Congregational Church, the Shakespeare Club and Edelweiss Club.
In 1929 the family purchased a summer home at Clear Lake, near Eatonville. Every June the family moved to the lake and stayed until school started in September. Even though it was rather primitive at first and required a lot of work Ruth enjoyed watching the children grow into adults at the lake. The lake place is now owned by daughter Virginia, who has continued to improve and enjoy it with her children and grandchildren. Virginia has organized and entertained many delightful family reunions at the lake.
After the children were gone from home and raising families of their own Ruth loved to help and encourage the grandchildren in their various activities. Every winter Ruth and Rufus would travel to California, visit Jean and her family, and spend the cold months at Palm Desert where Rufus played golf. She loved to travel and enjoyed visiting the National Parks in California, Arizona, and Utah.
In the evenings at home on North Adams Ruth spent much of her time reading and studying. Her Bible held a great interest for her and she made many notes and copied numerous verses of Scripture as well as philosophical and poetic excerpts from other sources. Among the notes and memoranda which she left behind was the following quotation, which must have meant a lot to her and which explains a great deal about her philosophy of life.
"To live content with a small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable; and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, never hurry; in a word, to let the spiritual unbidden and unconscious grow up through the comon. This is to be my symphony."
"I strove with none, for none was worth my strife
Nature I loved, and next to nature, Art;
I warmed my hands before the fire of Life;
It sinks, and I am ready to depart."
After suffering a stroke in 1971 Ruth (Haines) Parker spent the last years of her life in the Sherwood Terrace Nursing Home in Tacoma and passed away on January 29, 1978. She is buried next to her husband, Rufus, in the Old Tacoma Cemetery."