Ruth Louise DeRosa Thornton

On July 4, 2020, at 93 years young, Ruth Louise DeRosa Thornton went with Jesus to join her father, mother and two sisters in heaven.

Ruth was born in Santa Maria and raised in Betteravia. While working at Union Sugar, she met and married Ray Thornton in 1953. They lived in Betteravia until moving back to Santa Maria in 1965. Ray passed away in 1991.

Being an active and athletic lady Ruth was an avid bowler and horseshoes player. For the last 30 years, she played various positions and has been secretary and matriarch of the Swinging Seniors softball team.

This amazing, wonderful, energetic and cherished lady leaves behind daughter Roberta Cook (Jim), granddaughter Melissa Wright (Derek), grandson JT Cook (Sarah), brother Jim DeRosa (Gwen), several great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews, along with their children, who considered Aunt Ruthie the family matriarch as well.

“She leaves behind an amazing family and network of friends. She always started her day with stretches and it brings to our attention that she stretched life out as much as she could with us. There were times of heartache and times of joy. The times of joy, she had the grip on that; and the heartache, well she knew the remedies for that, too.

“She enjoyed the ballfield and would love to make a lap around the bases but her heart said you have more energy in you to inspire others. So she did just that: Sat back and did what she could with her mind and heart until her last dart.”

— James Thornton Cook

“I credit my grandmother for the void I feel from her passing. She made her presence known in my life. Through frequent trips to Georgia, then Tennessee, my grandmother showed up to know me. She showed up for small moments, and big milestones.

“I treasured recordings she made of her singing along with music books to help me get to know her. She showed me a love for travel as she accompanied us on family trips. She showed me discipline from morning exercises to recording every day in journals to balancing her checkbook to the penny. She showed me vitality as she remained active to the end.

“God allowed my family to visit her during the last week of her life. Two nights prior to her passing, she held my hand and thanked me for coming all the way to see her. What a gift to show up for the one who had shown up for me. She embodied the meaning of her name Louise, “famous warrior.” I hope to continue her legacy of strength as I bear the same name.”

— Melissa Louise Wright

Thanks and appreciation to Dr. Sweeney and his staff for many many years of excellent care. And for comfort and care in Mom’s last hours with us I give many heartfelt thanks to Marian nurses Melissa in ER and Erin in CCU.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to a veterans organization or your favorite charity.

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