Ruth Marie (Lord) Neville, born March 25, 1923, in Sacramento, entered heaven on April 1, 2014, just one week after her 91st birthday.

Ruth grew up in Berkeley. Always an animal lover, she worked with a dog breeder, training St. Bernards for the show ring. In 1940, she married Paul Bertlin. Paul served in the Merchant Marines during World War II, then trained as a fireman. As the family grew, they bought a small farm in Sonoma Valley to be closer to Hamilton AFB in Marin, where Paul worked. They had a milk cow, and raised beef for the table.

In September 1954, Paul was stricken with polio and died, leaving Ruth with nine children. In November 1955, Ruth married John T. Neville, who worked for Chevron Corporation. Ruth bought ponies to teach the children to ride, and later purchased three horses. The children also trained in the sport of vaulting (acrobatics on the back of a trotting horse). Ruth also served as the adult advisor for the Sonoma Teenage Horsemen’s Club.

Ruth is survived by her loving husband, John; eight Bertlin children, Carl, Eric, Paul, Roy, Alan, Neal, Rose and Eileen Sharp; and six Neville children, Mary Cooke, Richard, Mark, Anne Sheehan, Lucy Hunt and Michael; as well as 30 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by daughter, Kay Bertlin; grandson Justin Sharp; sisters Betty, Hallinan and Margaret Ganas; and brother, Robert Lord.

Visitation will be held at Duggan’s Mission Chapel, 525 W. Napa St., Sonoma, from noon to 7 p.m. Friday, April 4, followed by a rosary at 7 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 5, at St. Francis Solano Church, 300 W. Napa St., Sonoma, with inurnment at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8, at St. Francis Solano Cemetery, 505 E. Napa St., Sonoma.

Memorial donations may be made to the Knights of Columbus, Council #7591, P.O. Box 55, El Verano, CA 95433.

Arrangements are by Duggan’s Mission Chapel/Mission Cremation Service. Inquiries can be made to them at 996-3655 or by visiting their website at