Ruth E. (Townsend) Roberts was born December 15, 1922 to Thomas Melancthon Townsend and Mildred Harriet (Mathews) Townsend. During her early childhood, her most-beloved pastime was “dressing-up,” not her dolls, but her cats - in all her dolls’ clothes! Her other favorite pastime was getting into all manner of mischief and fun with her cousins, George Binderim and Cary Lewis Townsend.
From the Fall of 1928 through the Spring of 1936, she attended First through Eighth Grades in the one-room Sooner School. In the Fall and Spring of 1936-37 she spent her Ninth-grade year at Webster Junior High School and entered Central High School in the Fall of 1937. Upon graduation from Central in the Spring of 1940, she entered the Blackwood-Davis Business College.
In the Spring of 1942, after graduation from Blackwood-Davis College, she joined the fledgling workforce at Tinker Field as Employee Number 139. After a brief stint as Clerk-Typist in 1942-43, she was appointed Chief of the Central Files Branch in 1943, rising to Chief of the Records Management Division in 1951. At the time of her retirement, she was the Supervisory Management Assistant for Administrative Services.
Ruth’s life-long love of music began as a child when she took her first lessons in voice and piano. Over time, she determined that singing was not for her, and she focused her efforts solely on piano, and after a thorough grounding in piano technique, she embraced the study of organ. These disciplines eventually led to her avocation as Piano Accompanist for various choral groups, including the Chordaleers and the Oklacitians, and as Pianist and Organist for Maywood Christian Church and for Tinker Field Chapels, Numbers One and Two. Ruth served for over 25 years, just during her tenure as Protestant Organist at Tinker.
Along with her parents, Ruth was a Charter Member of the (former) Kelley Avenue Christian Church.
In 1962, Ruth became a Founder of the Midwest City Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association, and at the time of her death, she was the sole-surviving Charter Member. She was most proud that in December 2012, she would receive her 50-year pin.
Upon retirement from Tinker in 1973, Ruth took up culinary arts, with much verve and passion, and became quite the home gourmet. From 1971-1983, she and Olin took great pleasure in making and bottling their own wines, even with cherries picked from Ruth’s own Montmorency Tree!
In 1971, Ruth and Olin purchased land in Vallecito, Colorado, and thus began the odyssey of building their first home together, albeit only a “Summer Home.” From Olin’s design and with the assistance of all the family, there evolved a unique and wonderful “Cabin-in-the-Woods.” Ruth’s newly-discovered cooking talents helped construction to go smoothly for all the workers, as she kept them supplied with all manner of tasty temptations!
In 1973, they purchased their 24-foot Argosy travel trailer to ease the “roughing-it’ aspects while building the cabin. The Argosy was supplanted in 1975 by a 31-foot Airstream, with which Ruth and Olin did much traveling to warmer Gulf climates during Oklahoma’s winter months!
After 61 years in her childhood home, and while still summering in Colorado, Ruth and Olin decided to have a new home built in South Oklahoma City and took up residence there on November 1, 1983.
During their 43 years of marriage, Ruth and Olin were the proud parents of five bundles of joy, all of them Irish Kerry-Blue Terriers: Junior, Dusty, Bridgette Kathleen, Finnegan, and Clancy!
After a lifetime of excellent health, Ruth had silently and courageously battled various ailments over the last decade, including: congestive heart failure, interstitial lung disease (with recurring bouts of pneumonia), chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and most recently, pancreatic cancer. She was a charming trooper through-and-through.
Ruth’s lengthy health battles ended, and she departed this life for her heavenly home on Friday morning, April 27th, 2012, while in the care of her doctors and nurses at Midwest Regional Medical Center.
Survivors include her husband Olin, and their dog Clancy, both of the home; step-daughter Patricia and husband William Bentley of Midwest City; step-daughter Janice and husband William Armstrong, also of Midwest City; step-son Jon Roberts of Oklahoma City; step-granddaughter Belinda Bentley-Andrist of Midwest City; and step-granddaughter Christie and husband Travis Berrier of Palm Bay, Florida. She is also survived by her three step-great-grandchildren: Josh, Emma and Jacob Berrier, also of Palm Bay.
Loved and cherished by all who knew her, but most especially by her immediate family and the special friends that she and Olin developed during their summers in Colorado.
The family would like to offer our deepest and heartfelt thanks to all Ruth’s long-time physicians, particularly her cardiologist and friend, Dr. Jerome Mathias; Dr. Mathias’ nurse-assistant and Ruth’s special friend, Tracey Love; her pulmonologist, Dr. Muhammad Amin; and her oncologist, Dr. Stephen Hamilton.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Ruth’s name to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation or the American Cancer Society.