I first met Ruth Tighe at a meeting of Saipan women in the mid-1980’s. The group was variously called Saipan Women’s Association, CNMI Women’s Association, and other names as well. It was a group of women who wanted to make a difference. The issue of the day was poker parlors and the group was concerned about the negative effects they would have if allowed to flourish in our community.
Ruth was a stand-out, even in that group of illustrious women who included Paz Younis, Anicia Tomokane, Chailang Palacios and others. Ruth had a clear focus and a sharp mind. She wanted to know the facts first, and then wanted to figure out what to do. She wouldn’t quit until there was a clear action plan in place.
Ruth ardently supported “good” causes—advocating for people (young, old and in-between), protecting the environment, pursuing transparency in government, insisting upon clarity and excellence in the written word, and promoting the arts. Purpose motivated Ruth. She was indomitable! Her energy was phenomenal.
And as I noted in one of my old blog posts, she played bridge. And shared books. This is community!
Very little fazed Ruth. When she needed to quit smoking after decades of her habit, she simply opened up her reserve of will-power and did it. When her health required a constant supply of additional oxygen, she just toted it along with her.
Most importantly, Ruth was kind and compassionate to those in need. Despite her sometimes prickly manner in contentious situations, she had an infectious smile and a ready wit that she would share with the down-hearted, the fatigued, the stressed. She was generous with her time and talent and noble in all her endeavors. She had a beautiful spirit.
It has been an honor to know Ruth Tighe.