257 SE Roberts, Gresham, OR 97080

Ruth E Buck January 22, 1922 - December 17, 2022

Ruth Ethylene Bowman was born on January 22, 1922 to Nathan and Vesta Bowman, at the family home in Portland, OR. She was the youngest of the three kids, and the only girl. The children lost their mom when Ruth was about 7 years old, so housekeepers were hired to help keep up with all the needs of the family. Ruth married Gus Zinc in 1941 (in the same house she was born in) and had a busy life as a Navy wife, and later as an Art teacher’s wife. Ruth herself also had a career, having worked for Bell Telephone Co. for many years. She started as an operator, and worked her way up to work with Bell retirees, traveling all over Oregon to assist them with their benefits. Gus died in the early 1970’s. A few years later she met widower Blaine Underwood at church, and in 1975 she married him and gained a built-in family all in the same day! They especially enjoyed family and traveling until Blaine’s death in 1999. Ruth later met widower Harold Buck and they were married in 2006. They spent their sweet years together between Oregon and Palm Springs, CA until he passed away in 2013.

Ruth was an incredible musician, both in singing and in her organ playing. Her alto voice was amazing, and she continued to sing until the very end! When someone around her was singing, she would automatically start harmonizing with them. She spoiled everyone with her fabulous cooking, her delectable baking, her amazing original paintings that she blessed family and friends with, and her beautiful Christmas stockings that she made for the entire family. She was witty, full of energy, and loved to give the most fabulous hugs ever, which was surprising with her very small frame. She thoroughly enjoyed giving gifts, surprising people in a number of different ways, taking pictures and building albums for each of her grandkids, writing out recipes for her granddaughters, and being involved in her church family. Ruth was definitely a legend in her own time!

Ruth passed away peacefully on December 17, 2022 at the age of 100; just shy of 101. She had been living at The Courtyard at Mt. Tabor in Portland for the last several years.

She was preceded in death by her three precious husbands – Gus, Blaine, and Harold, and stepson, Blaine Underwood (Bud), and her brothers, Loyd Bowman and Frank Bowman.

She is survived by several nieces and a nephew, her step-children, Susan Compton and Douglas Underwood, as well as David Buck, John Buck, Rick Buck, Kathy Buck, and a large number of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren who love and miss her.

If desired, memorial gifts can be sent to either , https://hospicefoundation.org   or  https://frontiersusa.org   or  https://villagemissions.org  in memory of Ruth Buck.  A service for Ruth Buck will be held at Gresham Memorial Chapel on Friday, January 6, 2022 at 10:00am.

A service for Ruth Buck will be held at Gresham Memorial Chapel on Friday, January 6, 2022 at 10:00am.


  1. REPLY
    Kathy Pinkham says

    Grandma, I remember telling you that as the oldest grandchild, it was going to be hard to ever call you “grandma” after suddenly losing my grandma in a car wreck the year before. You were sweet and made me feel like you understood me and my reasoning. It didn’t take long at all to start saying “Grandma Ruth” and thankfully the reason was because you were so good to all of us. God didn’t give you any children from your own womb, and I believe that you were exactly what we needed and we were exactly what you needed! To gain three kids, three in-law kids, and nine grandchildren on the day you married Grandpa was quite the commitment you were vowing to God that day! Now, you have added in-law grandkids, 20 great-grandchildren and their spouses, as well as 21 great-great grandkids. You knew and loved every one of them. We can never thank you enough for investing your prayers, time, and talents on behalf of all of us. You are truly a gift to our family and you were there at God’s perfect time to help us heal and move on. There’s a grandma-sized whole in our hearts now, and we will get that need met when we see you and our treasured Grandma Viola once again. I love you, Grandma Ruth. Grandma you were, for sure.

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