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Feb. 11, 1923 Sept. 11, 2017

After a life full of love, laughter, and family, Ruth Elaine Hunters Ethier, age 94½, passed away peacefully, at home, surrounded by her loving family on Monday, September 11, 2017.
Born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Ruth was the second born child of George A. Hunters and Gertrude T. (McNally) Hunters. Ruth was raised in Pawtucket, R.I. After graduating from Pawtucket East High School, Ruth went on to attend the Comptometer School of Providence, R.I., where she earned her certificate. Ruth married her high school sweetheart, Henri (Hank) Ethier in 1944. They moved to California in 1950. They bought a home in Riverbank in 1955, where she lived until her passing.
Ruth was a charter and life member of the Riverbank Federated Women’s Club. She worked tirelessly year after year at the Riverbank Cheese and Wine Exposition. In 1998, Ruth initiated the highly successful project of making baby hats for newborn babies at our local hospitals. This popular service effort produced over 4,000 hats. Ruth, along with Hank, coordinated the celebration of the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976 for the city of Riverbank. Ruth also found time to lend her talents to the Riverbank Historical Society. She was driver for Angels on Wheels, and worked on the Election Board at the Riverbank Fire Hall for over 50 years. She and Hank were Charter Members of the Oakdale Golf and Country Club.
Ruth has been a member of the Friends of Community Hospice for over 30 years, where she was the inspiration and chairman for the 1998 cookbook. Ruth instilled the sense of giving back in her children and encouraged her family members to join the Friends of Hospice. All because of her inspiration and encouragement, many of her children are actively involved in Community Hospice today. In 2004, Ruth and her family were honored with the Julio R. and Aileen Gallo Leadership/Humanitarian Award for their service to Community Hospice. Ruth was a member of the St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church for 67 years. Ruth’s greatest accomplishment was being a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. Ruth is survived by her seven children, son David (Karen) Ethier of Sonora, daughter Meryl Britton Snider of Escalon, son Craig (Ramona) Ethier of Modesto, daughter Janis Fellows of Modesto, son Jorge (Kelley) Ethier of Sonora, and daughters Heidi Ethier of Oakdale and Robin (Richard) Sandoval of Modesto. She is also survived by her 15 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her loving husband Hank Ethier, brother George A. Hunters, and sons-in-law Dennis Snider and Mike Britton.
A very special thanks goes to the caring and compassion of Community Hospice, for the love, care, and respect they gave to Ruth. A celebration of Ruth’s life will be held at the Riverbank Memorial Chapel, 3131 Santa Fe Avenue, Riverbank, at 2 p.m. on Friday, September 22, 2017. A reception will immediately follow the celebration at St. Frances of Rome Parish Hall, 2827 Topeka Street, Riverbank CA. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Ruth’s memory to Community Hospice, 4368 Spyres Way, Modesto, CA 95356, or donate online at
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
September 20, 2017