Ruth Sullivan Passes Away at 85

Ruth Sullivan

Ruth Eleanora Shade Sullivan of Irrigon passed away peacefully on Sept. 11, 2022 in Hermiston at the age of 85, surrounded by loved ones.

She was born on April 7, 1937 in Ogden, Utah to Louis (Buck) and Margie Shade.

She was raised and attended school in Irrigon. She graduated from high school in 1955, where she met and fell in love with Ival Sullivan. They were united in marriage on Oct. 8, 1955. They were married for 66 wonderful years.

They settled in Irrigon, where Ruth was a dedicated mother first and foremost to their three children. She treasured her children and embraced every moment with them. As well as an amazing mother, she was a farm hand to her husband until their kids were grown.

Ruth started working at AC Houghton School in the early 1990s. She spent over 20 years in the school cafeteria, where she enjoyed seeing many of her grandchildren in the lunch lines. She was also involved in the local 4H and senior center for many years.

Ruth loved her grandkids and her garden. She could be heard at every game or activity, cheering them on. She also loved to share her love of food. She was always making sweets and canning food from her garden. She was the family’s biggest cheerleader and she will be greatly missed.

Ruth is survived by her children, Vickie Ellison (Rick) of Hermiston, Valarie Henderson (Randy) of Hermiston and Jay (Kelly) Sullivan of Irrigon; as well as eight grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ival Sullivan; father, Louis Shade; mother, Margie Shade; and a granddaughter, Katie Sullivan.

A graveside funeral service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022 at 1 p.m. at the Desert Lawn Memorial Cemetery in Irrigon.

Immediately following, there will be a gathering at the AC Houghton school cafeteria to share memories.

Those who wish may make contributions in Ruth’s memory to Vange John Memorial Hospice education fund, 645 W. Orchard Ave., Hermiston, Ore., 97838.

Please share memories of Ruth with her family at

Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in care of arrangements.