Ruth Bjørnstad McCausland was born in Seattle in 1919 to a large Norwegian family. She graduated Ballard High School in 1935, and attended Edison Technical School, now part of Seattle Community College. Ruth married SeattleP-I illustrator and artist Robert “Bob” McCausland in 1941. The McCauslands raised their two sons in Seattle before retiring to Tokeland, Wash. and later Olympia, Wash.
Ruth spent innumerable hours chronicling the people and the natural world around her. As she marched through life, Ruth felt compelled to capture her environment through writing. She published five books detailing places in Washington State, the lives and habits of birds, and regional history. She wrote articles for the Seattle P-I and TheAberdeenDailyWorld, among other publications, and was the editor for the Pacific County Historical Society’s publication Sou’wester for 10 years. Her topics included travel, history, profiles, and birding. She was social, vivacious, and enjoyed physical activity.
Ruth was also passionate about volunteering and fostering community. She participated in many organizations, including Westport-South Beach Historical Society, Westport Maritime Museum, Aberdeen Museum, Grays Harbor Bird Club, Olympia Lodge, Sons of Norway, and the Audubon Society.
She died peacefully at home in Olympia on September 7, 2020. She was 101 years old. Ruth is survived by her sons, Paul and Gary; her granddaughters, Mariah and Meghan; and all her many friends who will remember her well.
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