This Minute is in remembrance of Ruth Affolter, a longtime active member of Eastside Monthly Meeting who died at the age of 93 on November 9th, 2012. She was born Ruth Waltonen on November 30, 1918 in Middle River, Minnesota, the youngest of seven children. She attended business college in Minneapolis and later moved to Hibbing, Minnesota where she worked for the CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) union and served as a Red Cross volunteer during WWII. It was there she met John Affolter, who became her husband on February 15, 1946.
After Ruth and John moved to Washington, in the early 1950’s they joined with several other families to establish May Valley Cooperative, an interracial housing cooperative near Renton where they lived for 40 years. In 1953, she and John organized a food buying club with 15 families, which later became Puget Consumers Cooperative (PCC Markets). Ruth also worked for the American Friends Service Committee and in the King County Jail library. She served as librarian at the Cedar Hills Alcohol Treatment Center and after she retired, volunteered at Renton Group Health Medical Center. Her hobbies included traveling, gardening, sewing, and knitting.
Ruth and John belonged to the Methodist Church before they became Friends. They first attended University Friends Meeting in Seattle and became members of Eastside Monthly Meeting. After John died in 1997, Ruth moved to Bellevue. Even as her health declined, Ruth remained as active as possible in the life of Eastside Meeting.
Ruth is survived by her daughter, Jeanne Strickland, her son, Paul H. Affolter, and three grandchildren, Stacy Strickland, Jessica Zander, and Paul M. Affolter.