In Memoriam

Wendi Hirshberg passed away on July 4, 2022 from mesothelioma. After a 4 year fight to find a cure, she died in peace surrounded by her immediate family.  

Born September 24, 1961, Wendi was a West Seattle native who attended Fairmount Park Elementary, Louisa Boren Junior High and was a graduate of West Seattle High School.   After earning a teaching degree at WSU, Wendi went back to the school she first attended, to teach at Fairmount Park.  

While raising her own 2 children, Ben and Sadie, in Blue Ridge, she made the commute back to West Seattle, where she quickly became a beloved parent educator with the Seattle Colleges Co-op Preschool Programs for 22 years.

Known for nurturing the parents of newborns and toddlers, she helped so many families build a strong foundation as they started their parenting journey. She is most remembered for her enthusiasm, warmth, non-judgmental spirit and true empathy.  A lifelong learner herself, Wendi was always ready to share the latest in child development and guidance. With many  co-teachers, Wendi created a welcoming team and place for parents to connect with one another and start to build their “village.”   Even second and third time parents came back to get that smile, hugs, and personal “Wendi time.”   Wendi was also asked to teach in the APPLE Parenting Program where her ability to nurture, won over any potential barriers of English Language Learners and families who experienced an extra layer of life challenges.

Wendi was a special person to many and touched their lives in such an impactful way.  Few people can be as genuine in all their relationships. Her fellow teachers at the West Seattle Co-op Preschool and Parent Education Program are filled with sadness and mourn the loss of not just a coworker, but a beloved friend.  Wendi’s students, friends and family are left with memories that will be with them forever.  

She leaves behind her husband, Rich, her children Ben and Sadie, her parents Duane Ruud and Darlene Ruud, and her brother Tim.  She is pre-deceased by her brother Jeff.  

Donations in Wendi’s honor can be made to the Co-op program she loved so that families in need can receive financial tuition support:

Please share your loving memories and fond recollections of time you spent with Wendi on her Kudoboard:

For Your Child

We strive to educate and support every child equitably according to their needs, removing barriers, and creating a nurturing environment.

For You

We work to create safe and supportive atmospheres in which parents can build empathetic relationships and learn from one another.

For Your Family

We cultivate supportive communities within and outside the classroom to build stronger families, resilient children, and lifelong social networks.

South Seattle College Cooperative Preschools provide affordable, high-quality early childhood education along with parent education, coaching, and support for families with children from infancy to Pre-K.

For children, the co-op is a safe and nurturing place in which to explore and have fun. Social, emotional and intellectual skills are learned through cooperative and creative play. For parents & caregivers, it’s a place to improve parenting skills, help shape their student’s first school environment, and form lasting adult friendships.

Our five affiliated preschools are located in West Seattle & White Center; they differ from traditional preschools in that they are run by member families in association with the class teachers and the SSC program.