Robert W. Close and Ruth M. Close Scholarships
wo scholarships will be awarded each year in honor of Bob and Ruthie Close.
Robert W. Close worked as an educator for 37 years: 6 years teaching high school history; 6 years middle school principal; and 25 years assistant superintendent in Chehalis School District.
While working for Chehalis School District, Bob was twice honored by the Washington Association of School Administrators for outstanding service. He worked with a host of local citizens to establish student scholarships, many of which are still being awarded. Bob managed the bond sale and construction of Chehalis Middle School and the modernization of W.F. West High School. He was on the initial Penny Playground committee and worked with Chehalis Rotary to purchase equipment and assemble the playground. Besides all his duties as assistant superintendent, Bob took the time to mentor administrators and staff. Bob was all a long time member of Chehalis Rotary, a Paul Harris Fellow and received many Rotary Benefactor awards.
Ruth M. Close volunteered as an elementary room parent, volunteer caller confirming student absences, volunteer pupil reading partner, PTA member, Band Booster member, Athletic Booster Club member, school activities and field trip chaperone and she worked on school levies. She was a Blue Bird and Campfire leader, a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow and received Rotary Benefactor awards. Ruth worked on the initial Penny Playground committee, she hosted vacation Bible studies and children’s church programs and was a Young Life parent member.
Ruth was a leader in the banking community. She was head teller and teller trainer for Security State Bank and bookkeeper at Production Credit Association. Ruth modeled what great customer service was to the community and in her mentoring of new staff.
Bob and Ruthie Close were 37 year residents of Chehalis until moving to Wenatchee to be near family in the later years of their retirement.
Both grew to love and cherish learning early in their respective lives: Ruthie as the granddaughter of immigrant German grandparents, all who became naturalized citizens after WW1, and Bob as the son of a young mother of two, widowed by the death of her husband in WWII. Both realized early in life that learning was the key to breaking free of the chains that limit the human spirit. Bob is extremely grateful for the aid he received though the War Orphans Act that enabled his advanced learning opportunities.
Bob and Ruthie met in high school in 1955, started dating in 1956, and were married in 1958. They recently celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary. They take great pride in knowing their children and their respective families have continued to practice their Christian faith and thirst for learning . We are humbled by the honor of having these scholarships funded by our family, and pray they will be one of the sparks that ignite the torch of learning in each of the recipients.