Our beloved Ruth Elisabeth Vakili, age 91, passed peacefully at her home on July 30, 2023. She
was born in the Upper Silesian area of Germany on November 4, 1932, to Paul and Ottilie
Protzer and was the youngest of 4 children. In 1959, at the age of 27, she immigrated to Long
Beach, California where she met her husband, Mike, who had recently immigrated to the U.S.
from Iran. They married in 1960, had 2 children, Susanna and Marco, and moved to San
Clemente in 1975.
Ruth was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother, and was known for her sunny disposition
and warm smile. She established a German-American school in Orange County in the 1970s,
where for many years she was a principal and taught her beloved mother tongue to children of
all ages. She was a devoted friend, a world traveler, an avid knitter, and loved to play tennis, go
to the beach, and enjoy the beautiful San Clemente weather. Ruth will be missed dearly by her
husband, Mike Vakili, her daughter, Susanna Vakili, her son, Marco Vakili, her daughter-in-law
Denise Vakili, and her 4 wonderful grandchildren, Maryann, William, Blake, and Sierra.
Ruth was eternally grateful for the cancer treatment she received in her later years from Dr.
Donald Morton at the Providence St. John’s Cancer Institute in Santa Monica and had a special
place in her heart for refugees due to her family’s experience with displacement during her
childhood. Accordingly, her family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to either
the Providence St. John’s Cancer Institute in Santa Monica or the United Nations Refugee
A Celebration of Life event will be held in San Clemente on September 16. Information about
the event can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.