Obituary: Ruth Braly
July 3, 1931 – April 15, 2022
Ruth Ellen Braly was born on July 3, 1931, in San Francisco, California. She passed away on April 15, 2022, surrounded by her children after complications from surgery. Ruth is survived by her two sons, John “LJ” Braly of Seaside, CA. and Edmund Braly of San Jose, CA., as well as her daughter, Gareth Doehring, and her son-in-law, Jack Doehring of Homewood, CA.
Ruth was raised in Belmont, CA in her early years before her family moved to Los Altos in 1943. She graduated from Mountain View High School in 1949 and earned a degree from San Jose State University in 1953. That same year, she met and married her husband of almost fifty years, Edmund Braly. The newlyweds spent the first 20 years of their marriage residing in Pacifica, where they built the foundation of their skin-diving business. In 1969, Edmund and Ruth formed the Professional Diving Instructors College, or PDIC, in Monterey, marking the first SCUBA instructor’s college in the United States. PDIC trained and certified thousands of divers and instructors over the years and was a founding member of the Recreational Scuba Training Council. Edmund and Ruth also owned and operated five skin diving shops along the Northern California coast through the 60s and 70s.
In 1983, the couple sold their skin-diving shops and traded their home in Pacific Grove in exchange for the Cedar Crest cabins on Tahoe’s west shore, adjacent to her daughter, Gareth, and her son-in-law, Jack’s home.
From the coast to the Sierras, Ruth was an avid artist in pastels, watercolors, and oil paintings. She also had a green thumb for gardening, and enjoyed planting an array of flowers, fruits, and vegetables around her home in Lake Tahoe. One of her greatest passions was feeding and watching the variety of birds flocking around her west shore home. Of her many accomplishments, her most proud and notable achievement was the construction of her 2,675-square-foot spiral, green home near Homewood, CA in 2009. The unique structure features a rooftop garden, which serves as insulation and thermal mass. The sustainable building materials and design captured the attention of the Sierra Green Building Association and was featured as a 2010 Tahoe Quarterly Mountain Home Awards finalist.
Friends and family will gather this summer in Lake Tahoe to honor and celebrate Ruth’s life and legacy.
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