Ruth Marie Von Dollen, 94, entered into her final “big sleep” in the morning hours of August, 3, 2020. Ruth came into the world on January 4, 1926 at the family ranch on Hog Canyon Rd , She was the fourth of four daughters born to Max and Bertha (Hennings) Von Dollen.
Ruth attended school at the one room Ellis School on Hog Canyon Rd and graduated from Paso Robles High School in 1944. Soon after graduation, she began her employment at Bank of America as a bookkeeper trainee. In 1947 she was assigned to District Utility on the Central Coast area before returning to the Paso Robles branch in May of 1949. She was promoted to assistant chief clerk’s duties in 1952. In July of 1956, Ruth was promoted to officer status as assistant cashier becoming the first woman bank officer at the Paso Robles Branch. Ruth continued to move through the ranks and was the merchant teller for many years before retiring in 2000 after 55 years at Bank of America.
Just as sharp as she was in the banking industry, she was in life right till the end. Her recollection of dates and facts was uncanny. Her notes at home included so many wonderful tidbits of history, people, places and things, including the names of people’s pets, children and grandchildren. If you ever stopped by for a visit, I’m sure it is written in one of the many diary pages she kept, and how old each of you were on the day you stopped by. She was a very modest woman with a generous heart, but if you wronged her beware. And whatever she may have done for you, if you forgot to send a thank you note, you would never hear the end of it.
Ruth was a supporter of many causes as apparent by the notecards and trinkets she received in thanks in the mail. She was a member of the Farm Bureau, Pioneer Museum, North County Humane Society as well as frequent visitor to the Senior Center. Ruth was very proud of being a fourth generation Paso Roblan. She always took great joy in the Pioneer Day festivities including the Old Timers BBQ in San Miguel, the Ladies Tea and of course the parade itself. Although she was asked multiple times to accept the nomination as Pioneer Day Queen, she felt “It just wasn’t right for her”. But she sure enjoyed being able to ride in the restored family buggy a few times in the parade in recent years.
Ruth enjoyed playing cards and doing word search puzzles to keep her mind sharp and watching her Dodgers on TV. She also bowled for many years at Wilson’s Lanes on the Rip Van Winkles league. Her true joy however was her social life spending time with her former Bank of America co-workers, her old classmates, and her family. She loved to go out for breakfast or lunch and was a frequent diner at Touch of Paso, Springside, Vic’s and the always special Sunday Brunches at The Grill at Hunter Ranch. Those that met her, seldom forgot her.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Max and Bertha, siblings Doris Atkins, Amelia McKee, Ella Pafford, nephews Lee Davis and Melvin McKee (infant), great nephew Matthew McKee, great-great nephew and niece infants, Henry McKee and Ella McKee.
She is survived by nephew Bob (Jenny) McKee, great nieces Shelley (Tim) Batrum and Audra Davis Vasquez, great nephews Rob (Angela) McKee and Greg Davis, great-great nieces, Mattie Batrum, Mollie Batrum and Khylah McKee, numerous cousins, and special friends, Peggy Walker, Pricsilla Pernoskt, Pat Bland and Jim and Sandy Heiskill. The family would like to thank Neal and the entire staff at Ingelside by the Lake and Central Coast Home Health and Hospice for tending her needs during her final months.
Ruth was laid to rest next to her parents and sisters in the family plot in private services at Pleasant Valley Cemetery, on Wednesday, August 12, 2020.
Donations may be made in her name to Pioneer Museum, North County Humane Society or El Paso de Robles Historical Society.