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Ruth Zella

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Ruth Marlene Zella

January 12, 1937 - July 20, 2020


Ruth Marlene Zella of Penticton, beloved wife of the late Nickolas Steven Zella, passed away suddenly but peacefully in her sleep on July 20th, 2020 at the age of 83 years.

Ruth was born on January 12th, 1937 in North Battleford, Saskatchewan.. Adopted into a loving family by Frank & Tillie Kozwara; their only child. She started her years off in Leoville, Saskatchewan where she had many cousins to play with.  One cousin, in particular, became like a sister to her: Emily McKenzie (Jim).  

Most of her grade school years were spent in Grindrod, British Colombia (BC) & high school was in Kelowna, BC.  She graduated from Kelowna Secondary School with not only a high school graduation but a diploma in bookkeeping.  She got her first job at Oliver Chemical Company, in Penticton, BC.  Also in Penticton, she met and married Nick Zella on January 25, 1959.

While married, Ruth was a wife, mother of two girls, homemaker, a pastor’s wife, home designer, worked alongside her husband in construction, and even tried her hand at running a laundromat with a full-service dry cleaners.

In her later years, she found that she enjoyed gardening, creating recipes, canning and preserving; which led her to establishing an organic preserve company with her daughter Phillis.  She retired (but not fully) 25 years after the start.  Ruth won several awards for her tasty recipes at several fall fairs and was also an honoured judge at several competitions.

For the past 13 years, Ruth enjoyed making and selling her wares at 2 campgrounds owned and operated by friend.  She also grew pesticide-free and mostly heirloom produce for sale and restaurants.  The day before Ruth passed away, she was excited how the garden was producing especially the raspberries at this time. She stated “now we can make the jam and pie fillings we need.  God is good!”

Ruth was predeceased by: both of her parents, her husband, eldest daughter – Marlene Murray, adopted son – David Wood, and several uncles, aunts, and cousins. Ruth is survived by her youngest daughter, Phillis Zella (Les Blumhagen) and several cousins. 

Ruth was a very vibrant woman who enjoyed life to its fullest.  She spent her time trying to make the world a better place to live.  A testament to this would be the many children, grandchildren and a great-grandchild she adopted into her inner circle.

Children:  Dolly, Elaina, Marlene, Niomie, Dodie, Paul, Natilie, Cathy, Josephine
Grandchildren:  Nikita, James, Tucker, Tyrell, Miles, Emily, Andrea, Avery, Noah, Devyn, William, Aiden
Great-Grandchild:  Maximus.

One of Ruth’s favourite verses, John 14:2 – “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you.”  

When I sit quietly in your garden, I can feel your presence still.  Rest in Peace… and dance with the angels.    


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From: Gail

Nick and Ruth were our  back lane neighbors for many years.   It still amazes me how she turned every bedroom and  closet  into a canning pantry.. 
Ruth always had a big smile,  and she had  a big heart
my condolences to Phillis and family

From: Catherine eMallory

You where a amazing person with such a pure and good soul that is a rare gem in our world today .There no word that could say a bad world about such a fine hard working lady that was more than willing to lead a helping hand place a smile on one face .Your love and Kindness willl always live on as you will in my heart mom .God Bless rest in peace to we meet in heaven  love you

From: Renée Desnoyer

I was always astonished by your vibrancy and the amount that you could accomplish while making it appear to be effortless. You always had a garden in which fairies would be delighted to live in. Your combinations while canning were inspirational and oh so yummy. I admired and envied your abilities, then I decided I wanted to be a little more like you. I still have a long way to go since my last attempt at canning had half the lids popping but I shall keep trying and think you every time I do.

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