[Tweeters] Ruth Sullivan's passing, Monday July 4th, 2016.

Constance Sidles constancesidles at gmail.com
Mon Jul 11 10:04:39 PDT 2016

Dear Shep, thanks for letting us know this sad news. Ruth Sullivan was one of a kind, and kind-hearted to boot. She and her son Patrick found more rarities for me than anyone else in the state. And it wasn't just that they found these incredible birds - it's that they shared them with everyone. Once Ruth and Patrick had found a great sighting, they would stick around until the last straggling birder who wanted to see it had shown up. And each time they showed their find to someone else, it was as though they had found it anew themselves.

I saw my first Red-wing thanks to them, my first Rosy-crowned Finches roosting in the cliffs near Vantage, my first Common Redpoll in a sea of Pine Siskins but easily separated for me by Patrick. Thanks to them, I saw a bird i never thought I'd see in my lifetime, both because it is so incredibly rare in Washington but also because it has almost no field marks at all, so even if I saw one I wouldn't have been able to ID it: the Temminck's Stint at Ocean Shores.

I saw many common birds in their company, too, which made everything special - my first Yellow Warbler of the season on a blustery day in early spring down at Satsop, which Patrick pulled out of a deep stand of swampy trees - he listening for birdsong, she chattering about whatever came into her head. To see this traveler from afar shining like living sunshine in the gloom of a cold Northwest spring in the company of Ruth and Patrick warmed my heart. It was proof that despite everything that seems wrong with the world, some things are still right.

Ruth lived through many tough times that she didn't often talk about - growing up in post-war Germany with starvation at the door, and worst of all, losing her beloved son Patrick decades too soon. The world often knocked her down, but she always got up again. That is how I will think of her. Ruth, somewhere you have found your Patrick again. Give him a hug from all of us left behind, my friend. - Connie, Seattle

csidles at constancypress.com <mailto:csidles at constancypress.com>
constancesidles at gmail.com

> On Jul 11, 2016, at 9:22 AM, Shep Thorp <shepthorp at gmail.com> wrote:


> Dear Tweets,


> with sorrow I write to share the passing of Ruth Sullivan last Monday July 4th. Although unexpected, Ruth recently was not doing well and peacefully passed during the day. Ruth's passion and enthusiasm for birding touched decades for many bird watchers, and her spirit and posts in tweeters will be missed. From her readily recognizable email, godwit513, to her red Nissan with the license plate, Red knot, if Ruth was in the area most birders were aware of her big personality packed into a small framed human being. Ruth spent her final days with her beloved dog, Toby, and good friend Igor. My understanding is that donations in Ruth's name can be made to the Patrick Sullivan Young Birder's Fund at the Washington Ornithological Society and the Tahoma Audubon Association in Tacoma. Ruth is survived by two sisters who live in Berlin, Germany, as well more distant relatives (a nephew) here in the States.


> May Ruth rest in peace, and I hope she enjoys the birding on the other side.


> with empathy,

> Shep Thorp


> --

> Shep Thorp

> Browns Point

> 253-370-3742

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