Ruth Esther Rickerby, 80, died on Ash Wednesday, March 2, 2022, at The Center at Foresight in Grand Junction after her attempt at rehab was overwhelmed by underlying illnesses. She is now with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Ruth was born to missionary parents on September 26, 1941, in Usumbura, Uranda Urundi, Africa and lived there, except for about 3 years, until her family returned again to the United States in 1952. The family relocated to Craig, CO and Ruth graduated from Moffat County High School in 1959. Before graduating, Ruth, like many teenagers, worked in several jobs in food service. After graduation, she also worked at the local Craig newspapers which were, at that time, The Empire-Courier and Yampa Valley Flashes. For the rest of her life, Ruth was a voracious reader of newspapers wherever she lived but in recent years was dismayed by the changes in newspaper standards and ethics. Ruth attended Parks Business school, and did coursework at The University of Denver. She was employed in health care administration jobs most of her adult life, culminating with 17 years at the Denver VA Medical Center.
Ruth loved sports, particularly the Denver Broncos, Colorado Buffs (and later, Colorado School of Mines Orediggers), and a wide variety of music, especially classical: She was in HS Band and in recent years sang in performances of Handel’s Messiah and enjoyed GJSO and other concerts.
But even much more than that, she loved family and friends and was very caring and conscientious in her relationships with them. In the words of one of her ‘grandchildren’ Taylor, “Ruth was so generous with her time and love. She volunteered to come speak to my class in elementary school about the years she spent living in Africa as a missionary kid. She bought and arranged every bouquet and vase of flowers at my wedding…” You get the picture.
Ruth married Dale Rickerby in 1961. They adopted a son, Tony, and were divorced. Dale preceded her in death. Ruth was also preceded in death by her father James H Palmer, her mother Jessie Palmer Easterly and brothers, David Palmer and James Palmer. Long time best friend and mentor Dr. Bernard J. Malburg also preceded her in death: Unbelievably, they also passed on the same date at the same age 12 years apart.
Ruth is survived by brothers Philip (Judy) Palmer and Jonathan (Carol) Palmer 8 nieces and nephews, and members of Bernie’s family—who call her ‘grandma.’
Ruth had designated that her body be donated to the University of Colorado Medical Center for educational or research purposes.
Her memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday May 20 at Clifton Christian Church. The service will be live-streamed on the church website: www.cliftonchristianchurch.com
Sola Deo Gloria.