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February 27, 1937 – November 13, 2022

Charlotte Ruth Oltmann (Ruthie), 85, long time resident of Exshaw, AB, came to the end of her earthly journey on November 13, 2022 in Cochrane, AB at the Hawthorne Assisted Living Community. She was born on February 27, 1937 in Ottawa, ON, the third daughter of George Hjalmar Oltmann and Beulah Winifred MacKenzie. Ruthie grew up in a large family with six more children born after her. Siblings are now spread across Canada and feeling the distance.

Ruthie led a life of adventure in her beloved mountains, having worked her way west in the mid 1960’s as an office temporary worker and legal secretary. She found her niche in the Canadian Rockies where her varied careers included running hostels in the mountains, cooking in the backcountry, working in Kananaskis information centres, and writing books. All these led to many adventures, many chronicled in her most recent book, Ruthie’s Trails A Lifetime of Adventure. Writing was a passion for Ruthie. She kept a personal journal for most of her life and published several books. Her titles include The Kananaskis Valley Hikers’ and X-C Skiers’ Guide; The Valley of Rumours…the Kananaskis; Lizzie Rummel Baroness of the Canadian Rockies; My Valley - the Kananaskis; and countless articles published in various magazines and journals. She was considered an authority on the Kananaskis Valley through her research, writing and love of exploring “my valley”.

Ruthie spread “mountain fever” to all she met with her unbridled love of mountaineering in all its forms and never lost her joy at a good hike, despite health challenges in later years. Parkinson’s Disease was an unexpected challenge, but she lived well for many years by continuing to hike and live an active, engaged life in her mountain communities.

Ruthie’s faith was also a central focus in her life. She graduated from Central Baptist Seminary in Toronto in 1959 with a diploma in English Bible. She was an active member of the Trinity Bible Church in Canmore, AB where she enjoyed using her singing voice and piano talent to glorify her Saviour. She felt at peace to be “going home” and was looking forward to meeting Jesus.

Family and friends were very important to Ruthie. She was the keeper of the family tree and enjoyed documenting the history of the Oltmann, Johnsrud, and MacKenzie clans. Left to mourn are seven siblings: Joanne (Earl Hanna, deceased), Kitty Barratt, Brian (Vanessa Grant), Dave (Irene, deceased), Ingrid (Stuart Cummings), Nora Lea (Wayne Arcand), Phillip (Jan Bystrom), many nieces, nephews, and cousins, and innumerable very good friends, many lifelong. Ruthie was predeceased by her brother Neil (Lilianne, deceased) on September 30, 2022.

Following cremation, funeral service will be held at a time and place to be announced on the Cochrane Country Funeral Home website once arrangements are finalized  There will be no graveside service. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to further the work of Trinity Bible Church Canmore (  (403) 678 – 5063) or Bow Valley Baptist Church Cochrane (  (403) 932 - 4601).