Honoring the Life of Ruth Bramhall: A Beloved Mary Bridge Legend

Ruth Bramhall smiling in her nurse uniformRivaled by none. That's how most would describe Ruth Bramhall.

She started working at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital as a nurse 11 months after it opened in 1955. She ran the Operating Room (OR) and took great pride in teaching nurses how to prepare the room and clean the instruments, ensuring that it was always in perfect shape for every child who came through its doors. Director of Nursing at Mary Bridge, Diana Brovold, says she learned the ropes of the hospital personally from Ruth. "Give me one year, and I'll teach you all you need to know about the OR," Ruth told Diana when she was a new nurse, and sure enough, she did. Karen Lynch, former Administrator of Mary Bridge, said she never worried about how the OR was running when Ruth was at the helm. She knew Ruth could handle anything that came her way with the highest level of professionalism, care, and most of all, kindness.

"Once she retired in 1986, Ruth rolled up her sleeves and volunteered," said Cindy Niemi, a major gifts officer for the Mary Bridge Children's Foundation and friend of Ruth's for over a decade. Ruth volunteered at the Key Peninsula Fire Department and served two terms as their Commissioner. She served as President for the local Sportsman's Club, served on the council of her local church and played bells in the bell choir well into her 80's. She eventually joined the local Orthopedic Guild — the Dr. Penrose Guild — where she participated in many fundraisers for Mary Bridge and was known as their expert parliamentarian.

After an incredible and fulfilling life as a loving wife and aunt, a registered nurse and health care provider, a prolific community volunteer, a passionate supporter of Mary Bridge and so much more, Ruth passed away peacefully at Tacoma General Hospital in October with loved ones by her side. She was 93 years old. Mary Bridge was such an important part of her life that Ruth decided to give a significant legacy gift to the hospital — her beloved property — which will provide an incredible source of funding for the greatest health care needs of children for years to come.

Ruth Bramhall"Ruth may be gone, but she will not be forgotten — not in the nursing field, not in the community she lived and not at Mary Bridge," Cindy told a crowd of Ruth's closest friends and family at her Celebration of Life. "We remember the gift she was to us and to others."

More about Legacy Giving

Making a legacy gift like Ruth's is an affordable way to provide meaningful support to a cause that's close to your heart. Regardless of your income, you can make a significant investment in a healthy future for your community. To learn more about making a charitable gift that meets your family's needs, contact Frank Colarusso at 253-403-1262 or frank.colarusso@multicare.org.