OBITUARY: Ruth A. McHenry, 1925-2022 – Lost Coast Outpost | Directory Mayhem

Ruth A. McHenry, Aug. 30, 1925-Oct. January 2022. Born Ruth in Masterton, New Zealand, was preceded in death by her parents John William Andrews and Margaret Andrews, her brother Latham Andrews, three husbands, a stepson, a son-in-law, a grandson and numerous friends and relatives.=

At the age of two, Ruth moved with her family to Lower Hutt, near Wellington, New Zealand, where her father started a carpentry business and was mayor for 14 years. She graduated from Hutt Valley High and worked in a physics lab there for a while during the war. She came to the United States as a war bride and began raising four children in San Jose, all of whom were born at the age of 24. For a time she also looked after two of friends’ children, so there were six children under the age of six living in the household. She was a brownie and Girl Scout leader, a Cub Scout den mother, and a Sunday school teacher. She cheered her sons on at wrestling matches and transported her children and others to and from various activities. She loved camping and trips to the beach, sang with her youngest daughter while washing dishes, and poured merthiolate over wounds sustained during the adventures of her mischievous children – Susan, John, Stan and Kathleen; later they could be found berry picking, reading, kayaking and playing in the sea with grandchildren and at least one great-grandchild.

During her many years of work, beginning after the divorce cleaning and ironing for others, she designed knitting patterns and taught others the art of knitting; and she worked in sales at the Stanford Emporium in Palo Alto and at Dillards in Tempe. She also took part in and taught Scottish country dancing. And she drove and delivered for Meals on Wheels. She attended college courses in her 50s and 60s, married Bill McHenry in her 70s and had so many adventures with him – including another trip to New Zealand.

Her parents came to the United States from New Zealand when their children were young, and she took her children and some of her grandchildren back to their home country. There, in her 70s, she hiked the Milford Track with her son John and attended Hutt Valley High’s 75th Anniversary event in 2001. and in her 80s she traveled to Poland for the wedding of her soul daughter Jola Drzewiecka.

In Tempe, where she lived for many years before returning to California, she was very active in the University Presbyterian Church, serving on the Board of Deacons and volunteering with their Family Promise Program. She worked with others in her church there in community-supported Paz de Cristo, cooking and feeding hungry neighbors in need.

When she moved to McKinleyville to be near her family at the age of 90, she became a member of Grace Good Shepherd Church and served on their council of deacons for 5 1/2 years. She also worked with The Gathering, sponsored by the Church of the Joyful Healer, cooking a variety of soups from scratch to support their weekly effort to benefit the homeless. She continued to cook the soups every week even after being unable to be physically present during early COVID illness. Her soups were delivered weekly by her son John until not long ago her stamina finally gave out. However, her spirit remains with all these people, supporters and supporters alike.

Ruth is loved and survived by four children, five stepchildren, twelve grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren, all of whom are blessed to have been loved and bonded by her. Her family is very grateful to Frye’s Care Home and Hospice; and to Adrianna and Vickie for their special love and care. In lieu of flowers or other gifts, please consider supporting an organization that supports your neighbors in need.


The above obituary was submitted on behalf of Ruth McHenry Lover. That Lost coastal outpost conducts free obituaries for Humboldt County residents. See guidelines here. Email to

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