Family Owned and Operated

Floral 15


Ruth Wassenaar "Wass" Pate

October 4, 1927 ~ March 13, 2019 (age 91)

Ruth Wassenaar “Wass” Pate passed away peacefully Wednesday, March 13, 2019.  At the time of her death she resided at Landsun Health Services Center, Westridge Road, Carlsbad, New Mexico.  She was a very independent woman and had enjoyed living in her own home until her health began failing in December 2018.   Wass was born October 4, 1927 to Dr. Peter F. Wassenaar, Sr. and Anna Roon Wassenaar in Grand Haven, Michigan.

Wass grew up on a farm in the countryside with fields and woodlands behind her childhood home.  Her children have many fond memories of visiting their grandparents and running through the woods.  Being the daughter of a veterinarian Wass had a menagerie of animals, including a pet skunk, and her love for animals continued throughout her life.  If a stray dog or cat showed up at her doorstep, she quickly adopted them.  Her parents instilled in her a very strong faith in the Lord, values, and the importance of an education.

After graduation from high school Wass attended the University of Michigan for a one year.  She then attended the Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing in Chicago where she received her degree as a Registered Nurse in 1951.  Wass began her nursing career at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois and then moved to Tucson, Arizona to work at the Veteran’s Hospital.  It was there that she met and fell in love with Dr. Rupert H. Pate.  They were married September 28, 1954 and shared almost 47 wonderful years together before his death September 22, 2001.  After their marriage they moved to New Mexico and made their home in Carlsbad where Rupert set up his medical practice.  Wass loved being a doctor’s wife and poured herself into making their home a palace for her family.  Together they traveled and explored art galleries as well as historical sites.  They became quite the connoisseurs of art and collected many beautiful works throughout their lifetime.  Wass was also an artist herself and left some beautiful paintings for her children. She spent many hours gardening and was involved in the Garden Club when she was younger.  Writing poetry, music, reading, and cooking were also hobbies she truly enjoyed.  However, her favorite part of life was taking care of her family and her friends.  Wass was also a past president of the Child Conservation League, a lifetime supporting member of the Carlsbad Foundation, and had been involved in other organizations.   She has left a beautiful legacy for her family and will be greatly missed by those who loved her. 

Wass was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Dr. Rupert Harlan Pate; her great-granddaughter, Anna Elizabeth Pate; her brothers, Peter Wassenaar, and Dr. Frank Wassenaar; and her sister, Mildred Studham.

Wass is survived by her sons, Gregory Harlan Pate and fiancé, Donna of Carlsbad, NM, and Jeffrey Heath Pate of Fort Worth, TX and Cynthia of Reno, NV;  daughters,  Sharon Sue Ferrin and husband, Jamie of Destin, FL, and Lisabeth Anne Pate-Martinez and husband, Gonzalo of Las Vegas, NM;  grandsons, Aaron Pate and Tyler Pate of Carlsbad, NM,  Gerrod Pate of Fort Worth, TX,  Heath Pate of Reno, NV, Jeffrey Crane and Matthew Crane both of Spokane, WA;  granddaughters, Nichol Pate of Reno, NV, and Amanda Crane Eymard of Cypress, TX;  great-grandson, Zayan Pate of Carlsbad, NM; sisters, Trudy Wassenaar and Inez Pigg both of Grand Rapids, MI; sister-in-law, Dorothy Wassenaar of Alma, MI; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be Friday, March 22, 2019, at Denton-Wood Funeral Home Chapel from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.  The funeral service will be at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, March 23, 2019 at Blodgett Street Baptist Church with Pastor David Prell officiating.   Wass had requested prior to her death that any memorial contributions in her memory be made to Noah’s Ark Animal Shelter, 5217 Buena Vista Drive, Carlsbad, NM  88220.  Denton Wood Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements and condolences may be expressed at

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