Donald (Don) Wayne Ruth


2019/01/obit-Don-Ruth-obit-photo-219x300.jpgDon Ruth passed away at his home on Jan. 8 with his wife of 54 years by his side.

Don was born in Greensburg, Kan., on Aug. 14, 1941, the third son of Verle and Vila Ruth.

When Don was almost 4 years old, they moved to a farm near Johnson, Kan. Don grew up on the family farm. Growing up, Don was active in 4-H and sports. He graduated in 1959 from Johnson High School and then attended Ft. Hays Kansas State University. He graduated from Ft. Hays in 1965 with a BS degree in agriculture and a minor in mechanics.

On June 7, 1964, he married his college sweetheart, Kathryn (Kathy) Heglund, in Assaria, Kan. They celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2014. To this union, two children were adopted to make their family complete: daughter Deann Ruth, Mancos, Colo., and son Steven Ruth, Grand Junction, Colo.

He farmed the family farm until 1977, when the family moved to Pagosa Springs, Colo. Don was the mechanic for Archuleta School District 50 JT. and then was the director of transportation for the school district. He retired in 1999. He then worked at the local golf course for several years.

Don was a drill sergeant in the Army Reserves; was a 50-year-plus member and past master of the Johnson Masonic Lodge No. 441 in Johnson, Kan.; a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason; a 50-year member and past worthy patron of the Ulysses Order of the Eastern Star Chapter No. 67, Ulysses, Kan; he taught 4-H small gas engines classes; had his private pilot’s license and flew Cessnas; served on the Alpha Rockridge Metro board for the past 28 years and was an active member of the Community United Methodist Church, Pagosa Springs, Colo., since 1978.

Don’s passion was restoring antique cars. He loved showing his cars in car shows and sharing car stories.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one niece.

Survivors include his wife, Kathy; daughter Deann Ruth; son Steven Ruth; brothers David Ruth (Pat), Sparks, Nev., and Darrel Ruth (Marylin), Johnson, Kan.; brother-in-law, Jim Heglund, Assaria, Kan.; nine nephews and nieces; and numerous grand- and great-grandnephews and nieces.

A memorial service will be held at the Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St., Pagosa Springs, Colo., on Friday, Jan. 25, at 11 a.m. A light lunch will be served in the fellowship hall following the services.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Gifts of the Heart at CUMC for the food pantry; Vets for Vets or to the Community United Methodist Church. Memorials may be sent to CUMC, P.O. Box 300, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.