Alyson Louise Ruff-Roberts nee Ruff died at home of natural causes Sunday, June 18, 2023 at
the age of 58.
She was born on October 6, 1964 in Bremerton to Patrick Edward Ruff and Bonnie Baker Ruff.
She grew up in Belfair and attended North Mason schools, was active in music and theater, was
ASB Treasurer, and graduated as Valedictorian of the Class of 1982.
She continued her education at the University of Puget Sound (UPS) where she graduated with
a double major in Biology and Music. She was a member of the Adelphians choir. At UPS she
developed an interest in microbes that live in extreme environments, likely influenced by her
love of science fiction. This led her to pursue a Masters Degree at Montana State University
(MSU) in Bozeman, doing ground breaking research into the microbial communities living in the
hot springs of Yellowstone National Park. After receiving her Masters Degree in 1992 she
worked in R&D in the biotechnology industry for several years, developing non-invasive
methods for genetic testing.
While at MSU she met Peter Roberts, a graduate student from England. They were married
June 1, 1991, in Burton in England. Alyson had dreamed of being married in a cathedral in
England but a 12th century church had to suffice. They settled in Massachusetts where they
both worked in the biotechnology industry. Alyson decided to become a fulltime mom after her
first son, Miles Peter Ruff-Roberts, was born in 1999. Her second son, Siôn Evelyn
Ruff-Roberts, was born in 2002. Both of them were born in Milford, MA. The family
subsequently lived in Maryland for a few years before moving to Belfair to be closer to family.
Alyson enjoyed reading, cooking, movies, and travel. She continued to be involved in music
wherever she lived, including the Bremerton Symphony Chorale. She was very involved in her
children's education and interests, initially homeschooling them and later a "volunteer mom" in
the North Mason school system for the Marching Band and Destination Imagination. She was
also involved in running the 4-H Club at the Salmon Center in Belfair.
Alyson is survived by her husband Peter, her sons Miles and Siôn, her mother Bonnie Ruff, and
her brother Brian Ruff.
Alyson was an intelligent, generous, and compassionate person. We have memories to share
with friends and family at a Gathering at the Mosquito Fleet Winery Pavilion in Belfair, at the
intersection of Old Belfair Highway and North Shore Road. Please join us on Friday, July 14,
from 1 pm to 4 pm.
For those interested in making charitable donations in Alyson's memory: the North Mason music
program was always near and dear to Alyson's heart and the Alyson Ruff-Roberts North Mason
High School Music Scholarship has been established at Key Bank, 23731 NE State Rt 3, Belfair,
WA 98528, account # 478616069025, Bonnie Ruff executor; Donations in Alyson's name can
also be made to the Farm at Water's Edge 4-H Club (https://www.pnwsalmoncenter.org/4-h/).