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Sassa B Ruby, September 15, 1960 – April 8, 2022

Sassa Ruby
Holly Ruby
Sassa Ruby

Sassa Bartman Ruby was born to Simeon and Anuska Bartman in Dillingham on September 15, 1960. Sassa spent her youth in Manokotak with summers in Igushik where her family were very active in commercial fishing.

Sassa attended high school in both Dillingham and Mt Edgcumbe. She occasionally told stories about traveling by air to Sitka for the first time and her first experiences with living in a dorm. Sassa loved basketball and was very competitive. She played in high school and continued to be a very enthusiastic fan. She surprised many people with the transformation from her normally quiet demeanor to a very enthusiastic and vocal fan.

While their paths might have crossed many times, Sassa and Andy connected through a mutual Dillingham friend. They fell in love very soon after. Sassa was his devoted fan by listening to Andy on KDLG radio station over the summer from Manokotak and Igushik. There were no telephones in Igushik at that point, so KDLG was their communication connection.

Sassa and Andy traveled to Fairbanks to attend the University of Alaska but after a year, decided that the climate was too cold for them. Upon their return to Dillingham, they began making plans for their wedding. The wedding was held in Manokotak in April of 1982 with Andy’s family and friends traveling over for the ceremony. In fact, Carl Flensburg and Russell Nelson flew their private ultralight aircraft from Dillingham to Manokotak to be a part of the wedding. Sassa enjoyed telling the story of watching them fly over the mountain toward Manokotak.

Sassa attended Alaska Pacific University and Andy attended University of Alaska Anchorage, where they both graduated with Bachelor’s degrees. Sassa graduated Magna Cum Laude. They immediately returned to Dillingham to commercial fish and add another few rooms to their little house for their now growing family.

Sassa and Andy welcomed their first child, Andrea Simone Ruby, born on September 11, 1982. A few years later, they welcomed their second child, Holly Jo Ruby on June 21, 1985. Then they had their only son, Asa Elsworth Ruby on February 3, 1996. They loved their children and provided them an adventurous upbringing through dog mushing, commercial and subsistence salmon fishing, Sassa working as a teacher at Dillingham City Schools, Andy working for a law firm, farm life raising chickens and gardening for produce at their grandma and grandpas down the road, helping run a store and auto shop, and volunteering with Special Olympics, just to name a few of the amazing life experiences they made sure to include their kids in.

Sassa was an elementary teacher at Dillingham Elementary School until her retirement. She touched the lives of many students and colleagues through her role as a teacher. One colleague wrote, I worked with Sassa in the early 90s. She was so kind and welcoming to me, and always happy to share her wisdom and heritage. She was a blessing to all who knew her. Besides being a teacher, Sassa was strongly involved and participated in subsistence and commercial fishing at Igushik for most of her life.

After living in Dillingham for the majority of her adult life, she decided to relocate to Anchorage with Asa to live with her daughter Holly, Terenty and their family. She was known as, “Glummy” to her grandchildren, and she loved and helped take care of them.

Sassa passed away peacefully in her sleep on April 8th. Sassa was a beloved friend to many and a family member to others. Her faith in God never wavered and her family takes comfort in knowing that she is in the loving embrace of the Lord now.

Sassa is survived by children: Holly and Asa Ruby; grandchildren: Beth, Hannah, Nadia, and Andrew; Siblings: Vera, Natalia, Mary Ann, Ina, Virginia, and Larry; Sister In-Laws: Alice Ruby, Amy Ruby, Fannie Bartman, Dana Bartman; Brother In-Laws: Chris Gloko, Alexie Mochin Sr, John Bouker, Kenneth Ruby, Malcom Wright along with many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, and uncles. Sassa was preceded in death by: Husband: Andrew Ruby and daughter Andrea Ruby, Parents: Simeon and Anuska Bartman, In-Laws: Arlen and Joanne Ruby, Siblings: Billy Bartman, Gust Bartman Sr, Peter Bartman, Petluska Bartman, and Wassilie Bartman. Sister In-Laws Iva Koutchak and Elsie Bartman

Bristol Bay Obituaries is a place for people to remember family members and loved ones who have died. Email submissions and photos to obituary@kdlg.org.