1933 - September 14, 2009
Ruth Allen, of Craig, died at her home Sept. 14, 2009.
Jennie Ruth was born to Augusta and Cordelia Sharpe on Feb. 28, 1933, in Dadeville, Ala. She was the ninth and last child born to the Sharpes.
The days of her youth were spent on the family's modest farm in the great company of her siblings and extended family. She attended school in the Talapoosa School District and loved the life her daddy provided as a factory worker and farmer.
Ruth married Harold "Short" Burns on Sept. 2, 1950. She and Harold would traverse the south following the flow of oilfield work. Life was exciting, and transitioning into marital life was made easier by the fact three of her sisters married men in the same line of work. They moved together, lived together and supported one another as their young families began to grow.
The couple had five children: Doris Jean, Vicky Ruth, Dena Gail, David Harold and Debra Diane. Ruth's children were always the focus of her life.
Harold Burns died suddenly Nov. 22, 1964.
Having spent her young life as a homemaker, the great purpose of her life arrived in 1968, when a phone call from a former co-worker of her husband took her from her southern roots and delivered her to Craig.
She and the kids left Alabama for Colorado in November, and Ruth would remarry and establish a life, home and security for her family in Moffat County.
Ruth's first job was as a 31-year-old carhop in Kermit, Texas.
As time passed with the seasons of change, Ruth's career in food services expanded. She began working in cafes, restaurants, lounges and bars. She intermittently worked in an Alabama textile factory and was trained as a PBX operator.
In 1984, she and Dena purchased a local tavern, the Popular Bar in Craig, where years later, though modest, she attained a semblance of financial relief.
Ruth Allen worked in virtually every eatery in Craig. She bussed, cooked, washed dishes, hosted and was a waitress for many years.
She would balance two or three jobs if one of her children required something special. She would become Mama Ruth to many of her patrons, friends and extended family as time passed. She remained connected to her southern family until life's end.
Ruth loved country music, nightlife, dancing, red beers, going out, playing cards, shuffleboard and her wonderful family and friends. She really never met a stranger, was known for her frank honesty and her kindness to those in need. She was quietly charitable and completely genuine.
Ruth gave her children roots. She gave them love and support without end. She left this world not recognizing her very great contributions. She is aware of them now.
The passing of the matriarch of the Burns family brings to the completion an end of a generation's lineage. The Sharpes have returned home. She has endowed to her family and friends, through the mystery of God, that Jesus Christ rules and reigns forever and ever.
Ruth Allen is survived by son-in-law Kenneth Thompson and daughter, Vicky Shenk, of Craig; daughters Dena (Roy) Butler and Debbie (Carl) Gross, of Craig; son David (Victoria), of Craig; grandsons Kerney (Laurie) Pipkin, of Rosebud, Texas, Eddie and Brian Garcia, of Craig; Ian and Nigel Aaberg, of Boston, and Jarrod Burns, of Craig; and granddaughters Jennie (Anthony) Delgado, Natasha (Mario) Delgado, and Marissa Butler, all of Craig, and Dr. Jenifer (Mike) Marks and Dr. Tari (William) King, of New York.
She is also survived by many great-grandchildren and other family members.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Sharpe; eight siblings; husband Harold Burns; daughter Jean Thompson; grandson Waylon Owens; and granddaughter Stephanie Gandy.
Consider the great question: who is mightier? The servant or those being served?
Remember to tip your wait staff. Consider whom they really are and that God truly loves a cheerful giver. May this beautiful creation, this amazing woman whose name is secured in a great book, rest peacefully until that great day that the Lord reunites us all.