Ruth Margaret Tuski passed away peacefully on Dec. 17, 2018, in Enterprise, Ore. Ruth was born on Nov. 18, 1931, in Baker City, Ore., to George Peter Murphy and Lennis Ruth (Wolfe) Murphy. Sadly, Ruth’s mother died shortly after giving birth to Ruth and, as a result, Ruth’s early years were spent with her paternal grandmother, Mary Murphy of Wallowa, Ore. Her older sister, Pat, in turn lived with her maternal grandmother, Cora Wolfe of Wallowa. Eventually, the two young girls joined their father who had moved to Portland, Ore.
Upon graduation from high school, Ruth returned to Wallowa, marrying Buddy Dale Thomason in 1952. Ruth and Buddy had two children, Dovey Jo (1953) and Mark Kelly (1956). A tragic logging accident out of Wallowa took Buddy’s life in 1957 at the age of 26. In 1959 Ruth married Robert (Bob) Nystrom and the couple moved to Milton-Freewater. Their son Robert Eric was born in 1961. After their divorce, Ruth again returned to Wallowa County where she purchased Stockman’s Bar in Enterprise, owning it from 1969-1973. Ruth always remembered her Stockman’s days with fondness and enjoyed telling stories to friends and family about that time.
In 1972 Ruth married Tom Long from Wallowa and Tom became her sidekick at Stockman’s. They divorced in 1977, and then in 1979, Ruth moved to Bend, Ore. where she enjoyed working as a caregiver for the elderly. In 1986 she married Jon Tuski and continued to reside in Bend until retiring in 1999 and moving to La Grande, Ore. She enjoyed her time in La Grande with many friends and was actively involved in the Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church. She especially appreciated the priests of Our Lady of the Valley. All during her life she remained close to her aunt, Margaret McClain, and cherished the time she could spend with Margaret until Margaret’s death.
As Ruth’s health declined, and she sensed the end of her life drawing near, her wish was to spend her final days back in Wallowa County, the home she loved so much. Her family made this move possible, and she spent her remaining days content and receiving exemplary care at the Wallowa County Senior Living Center in Enterprise.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, husbands, Buddy Thomason and Bob Nystrom and her son, Kelly Thomason. She is survived by her daughter, Dovey Jo Collins and son, Rob Nystrom, five grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren and numerous great great grandchildren.
Ruth loved to be around people and had many friends of all ages. She enjoyed telling and hearing a saucy joke, was a mean poker player, an excellent home decorator and a sharp dresser. Her lively, fun and funny personality will be dearly missed by those who were fortunate to know her.
Funeral services will be held at St. Katherine’s Catholic Church in Enterprise, beginning at 10 a.m. on March 23. A graveside service will follow at the Wallowa Cemetery. At 2 p.m. friends and family are invited to gather for a celebration of life and dinner at the VFW Hall in Enterprise. Those wishing to make a donation in honor of Ruth can do so to the Wallowa Valley Senior Living Center.