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Loving Mother, Grandmother, and Wife
Date of Birth November 02, 1934
Date of Passing July 15, 2019
Anna Ruth Fleming
from Dunlo, Pennsylvania, United States
Anna Ruth Fleming passed away on July 15,2019 after a long battle with dementia/Alzheimer's. She was surrounded by people who loved and cared for her deeply. Mom was known for her bold personality, always able to make friends with anybody. Her heart was big and filled with passion for those she cared for. Her strength to overcome great challenges never ceased to amaze those around her. We always told Mom she should write a book about her life because she truly lived a life that was most noteworthy.
Mom was 1 of 13 children being born somewhere in the middle during the Great Depression a small coal mining town in Pennsylvania. Her father died when she was just in Elementary school and she would take a job as a live-in caregiver for a local woman to help her mother pay household bills. After her mother passed away she could feel the walls of the small town closing in on her.
As a young woman Mom moved across the country from Pennsylvania to California where she became a sheriff deputy in the 1960's. It was during her time with the Sheriff's Department that she served as protection for the Beatles during one of their concerts, as well as doing undercover work in local High Schools because she looked so young (so 21 Jumpstreet). It was during one of her shifts at the department that mom was injured. She went into a cell to break up a fight and was thrown against the bars seriously injuring her back. Being the incredibly strong woman that she was she finished out her shift, started walking (eventually ending up crawling) home. When she woke up in the morning, she was unable to walk at all. She was immediately taken to the hospital by friends where she was told by doctors that she would never walk again. Mom didn't believe them and proved them all wrong and although it was a long road to recovery, she not only would walk again but enjoy her favorite pastime of dancing again.
Mom would go on to do secretarial work where she would meet and fall in love with my dad. While they were dating Dad would take her to the beach where they would go for long walks to help with her rehabilitation. Dad had 3 boys from a previous marriage that Mom absolutely Loved. Mom and Dad were married and soon my brother was born. After finding a job in Spokane my Dad, a pregnant Mom and my brother moved to Washington state. After 5 years in Spokane the folks bought their little piece of heaven in Otis Orchards, WA with cows, chickens, pigs, sheep and an enormous garden. It was the most spectacular place to be a kid. We never had much money, but we always had plenty of food and lots to do.
Mom would also take a position at our local post office right next to Dean’s Market. She loved meeting all the locals and chatting them up. She was a huge support in the schools, joining the PTA. She loved kids and kids loved her, many of our friends growing up would refer to her as their second Mom.
Nothing brought more joy to Mom then her grandkids. She was the best grandma any kid could ask for. She would spoil them with hugs, kisses, cookies and of course that Love that she was so good at.
Her devotion and love to her family was second to none. She acted as a caretaker her whole life, always taking care of ailing family members and of course us kids. As my Dad became ill and his dementia grew worse Mom stood by him through the darkest of times. She cared for him with everything she had. It was a very long hard road as those who have cared with someone with the disease can imagine, but her devotion and care were unfaltering.
I have always been amazed at her ability to pull smiles out of thin air, no matter what she may be struggling through she could grab one of those smiles slap it on her face then grab another and another and pass them out like candy until all around her were smiling also. Even in the last weeks of her life she had that infectious smile, the kind of smile you can feel deep down to your toes, it spread like wildfire to all around her. The incredibly caring staff at the memory care facility she was at shared the love I have for mom. I would often hear things like “I just Love your Mom” or “your Mom is my Hero”. She made friends out of these beautiful strangers and turned those friends into family. She was Amazing, she was loving, caring, and so giving, she was devoted and loyal, she was strong, passionate and downright fierce when she needed to be. Life was not always kind to her, but she always made it through with a smile.
Out of all the incredible things that she was my absolute favorite was that she was my Mom. I feel beyond grateful having grown up knowing that kind of love and character that was our Mom. She will forever be missed and never forgotten.
“she refused to let it break her. She faced tragedy,
she felt pain and it only made her stronger.”
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