March 3, 1918 –
February 22, 2018
Ruth Priest passed away on February 22, 2018, just 9 days shy of her 100th birthday. She was born in Glendale, CA, the only child of Clara and Alfred Priest, a prominent Glendale architect who designed the original Hoover High School in addition to other public buildings and homes. Her parents passed away when she was twelve, and she stated she was raised by a “committee of loving aunts and uncles.” In their later lives she took care of them. Ruth attended Glendale schools: Eugene Field, Toll, Hoover High, Glendale College, and eventually went to USC where she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees. She worked at the Glendale YWCA as program and camp director, making many lifelong friends during those years. Ruth began her career in education as an English teacher at Azusa and Citrus High Schools in Azusa and moved to Crescenta Valley High School in the fall of 1963, retiring in 1982 as Instructional Vice Principal. In the community Ruth was involved in P.E.O. (Chapter FF), Delta Kappa Gamma (Epsilon Epsilon chapter), and the Community Foundation of the Verdugos. Ruth established the Katherine Bush Scholarship at CVHS for students who were interested in careers working with youth. The scholarship spanned 28 years, eventually becoming part of the Community Foundation of the Verdugos; 42 students received multiyear renewable scholarships. Ruth was known for her leadership, generosity, firm but loving advice, organizational skills, and being a mentor to hundreds of students over the years. In 1996 she moved from the Glendale home she designed in 1950 with its beautiful gardens to the Valle Verde Retirement Community in Santa Barbara, residing there for 22 years. She was chair of the La Tienda thrift shop and was also instrumental in redesigning the formal rose garden along with other projects at Valle Verde. Her generosity to many organizations continued in the community of Santa Barbara. Ruth leaves behind a cousin, close friends, and those she counted as family. Ruth preferred that there be no memorial service. Please consider a donation to the Community Foundation of the Verdugos in memory of Ruth in support of the youth of our community. (Community Foundation of the Verdugos, 111 E. Broadway Suite 200, Glendale, CA 91205). Ruth will be remembered by so many for her kindness, generosity, and steadfast friendship.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Mar. 15 to Mar. 17, 2018