Ruth Marie Dawley was born on December 3, 1926, in the small rural community of Spring Valley, Illinois. Her father and grandfather were coal minders. She moved with her Italian family (the Bellettinis) to Vallejo, California, when she was 13 and went to school at Saint Vincent's Catholic School in Vallejo. The wildest part of her school days was when she went to San Francisco with her best friend Toni, ate dinner at a restaurant, ordered alcoholic drinks (at the tender age of 17) and was too afraid to drink the drinks.
Ruth spent many years at Mare Island Naval Shipyard working as a secretary. She helped with the plans for the Shipyard's first nuclear powered submarine, the USS Sargo. Ruth was married twice previously, but met the love of her life at Mare Island, Richard Carroll Dawley. She married "Dick" on July 20, 1968, and they spent nearly 52 years together. She was a dedicated wife, mother and the glue that held her family together. She loved Christmas, and always made it a special time for everyone.
Ruth is survived by her beloved husband Richard "Dick" Dawley, her daughter, Michele Monsees, her daughter Renee Hendry and her grandson Lonnie Shook. She was preceded in death by her son John Monsees, her loving mother Irma "Butch" Challenger, her father George Challenger, and her brother Georg "Jimmy" Challenger. Ruth was 93 years old at a time of her passing on May 27, 2020.
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