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Amy Ione Vangsnes Tuff

Aug 22, 2020

Amy Ione Vangsnes

Tuff, 92, of Sandy, OR

passed away peacefully

on August 10th sur-

rounded by her five chil-


Born November 19,

1927 on the family farm

near Rugby, ND, Amy gra-

duated from Rugby High

School in 1945 and en-

tered nurse’s training. She

married Harry Airth Tuff

of Barton, ND on June 3,

1951. After working as an

RN to put him through

seminary, she supported

him in his ministry as a

Lutheran pastor in his

first call to Glenfield, ND,

typing and mimeograph-

ing church bulletins for

the two congregations he

served. In their eleven

years of marriage, they

served congregations in

Rockford, IL and in Glyn-

don, MN, where Harry

was killed in a tragic car

accident October 11,

1962, leaving Amy with

five children ages 2 to 10.

She moved the family to

Fargo, ND where they

lived for five years. Due to

the challenges of North

Dakota winters as a single

mom, she courageously

packed up her household,

five kids, a cat and a dog

and moved to California

in 1967, settling in Salinas

where she lived for over

30 years. She also lived in

Carmel and Martinez, CA,

Vienna, Austria, Colorado

Springs, CO, Spokane,

WA and finally in Sandy,


Amy worshipped at

many Lutheran churches

throughout her life.

Church activities includ-

ed choir, Sunday School

teacher, committees, and

mission and youth work.

She also financially sup-

ported many Christian

mission organizations and

several missionaries. She

was passionate about the

arts, especially music and

any in which her children

participated. Amy loved

playing games such as

Scrabble and Rummikub

with family and friends.

For the last decade of her

life, her family referred to

her as the “Yahtzee

Queen” because she fre-

quently got multiple

Yahtzees in a single game.

During Amy’s 43-year

nursing career, she

worked mainly in labor

and delivery, ending her

career in the neonatal in-

tensive care nursery at

Community Hospital of

the Monterey Peninsula.

She traveled to Europe

numerous times, and after

retirement lived for a time

in Vienna, Austria with

son, Peter, and family. Re-

tirement also gave her the

opportunity to accompany

her church’s youth group,

for nearly a decade, on an-

nual mission trips to Mex-

ico where she slept in a

tent and served as the

camp nurse.

Amy loved life, she

loved to sing in her beau-

tiful soprano voice, she

loved to laugh, she loved

to camp. She enjoyed

everything to do with food

(it was a constant topic of

conversation), and she

was known as a warm and

welcoming hostess to fam-

ily, friends, and strangers

alike. Above all, she loved

her Lord and her family.

In 2003, Amy suffered

an injury that caused near

total blindness. This was

a catastrophic blow for a

woman focused on serv-

ing others for so many de-

cades, and the adjustment

to becoming dependent

on others was very diffi-

cult. However, her faith

and inner strength helped

her to adapt, and she

maintained an amazingly

joyous and thankful atti-

tude along with a positive,

hopeful outlook until the


Amy is survived by her

children: Joy (David)

Liezen, Paul Tuff, Ruth

Tuff (David Carson, de-

ceased), Naomi (Randy)

Wilson, Peter (LeAnna)

Tuff, as well as grandchil-

dren, great-grandchildren,

two sisters-in-law, nieces,

nephews, and many

beloved friends. Amy, an

extraordinary woman who

lived a life of service to

others, was deeply loved

and admired.

Plans for celebrations

of her life are pending

and details will be an-

nounced at a later date.

Her remains will eventu-

ally be buried next to her

late husband, Harry, in

Rugby, ND. Memorial

contributions can be

made to World Mission

Prayer League or the char-

ity of your choice. To

leave an online con-

dolence to Amy’s family,

and to check for updated

service information,

please visit our website at


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