Ruta (Ruth) Arija Liepnieks York passed away at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, WA on December 31, 2022. She died from pneumonia and complications of Parkinson’s Disease. She was 82 years old.
Ruta was born on August 12, 1940 in Riga, Latvia to Erna Auguste Linde Liepnieks and Aleksandrs Liepnieks. In 1944 her family flfled as the Soviets invaded Latvia, making their way to northern Germany where they found refuge in a United Nations refugee camp. In 1950, sponsorship by an American farm family in Seymour, IA enabled them to immigrate to the United States before settling in Lincoln, NE amid a growing Latvian community. Ruta graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in Journalism, and it was there that she met Larry Sanford York, whom she married December 26, 1964, in Lincoln. A career with Boeing brought them to Renton, WA where they built a home and family.
She is survived by her husband, Larry, of 58 years, sister Silvija Aina Taylor of South Jordan, UT, brother Andris Julijs Liepnieks of Salem, OR, son Erik Douglas York of Lebanon, OH, daughter Melissa Anne York Finn of Renton, WA, son David Larry York of Puyallup, WA, and six grandchildren.
A memorial service for all those who knew and loved her will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 25th, 2023 at Highlands Community Church, 3031 NE 10th St. Renton, WA, 98056. Her remains have been interred in columbarium section 5I at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, WA.
In lieu of flowers, Ruta would be honored by a donation to Eagles Wings Camp, a Christian children’s camp in Latvia that she and her husband Larry partnered with for over twenty years through Bridge Builders International (bridgebuildersint.com).