Ruth Tucker Hess was born February 27, 1927 in the Bulcher Community, Cooke County, Texas, to Floyd and Zula Morris Tucker. She passed away unexpectedly December 26, 2018 at her home in Loveland, Colorado. At one year of age, she moved with her parents to Wichita Falls, Texas, where she attended elementary school. She later lived in Olton, Plainview, and Springlake before moving to Hereford, Texas, in 1939. The family lived on a farm in the Westway Community for a few years before moving into town in Hereford.
Ruth graduated from Hereford High School in 1944, having served as editor of the high school newspaper and valedictorian of her class.
In 1948, she graduated from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Belton, Texas, with a B.A. degree in journalism and Spanish with minors in English and sociology. During college years, she was a member of Alpha Chi scholastic society and Theta Sigma Phi women’s journalism fraternity, editor of the college newspaper, and elected to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.
After college, she lived in Dallas where she was news editor for the public relations department of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. It was there she met Robert A. (Bob) Hess, an announcer for the Texas Baptist radio station KYBS. Ruth and Bob were married in Hereford, Texas, November 3, 1951.
During the year they lived in Hereford, she worked for the school district in the superintendent’s office. During 1952-53, they lived in Artesia, New Mexico, where she wrote continuity and news for radio station KSVP. From 1953-57, they lived in Lubbock, Texas, where Bob worked for radio station KFYO. Their two sons were born in Lubbock: Richard Wilson in 1954 and Arlen Reed in 1956.
From 1957-66, they were back in Artesia, where Bob was station manager for KSVP, and Ruth worked part-time writing news and advertising. From 1966-71, they lived in Amarillo, Texas. Ruth was public relations director for High Plains Baptist Hospital, and Bob was announcer-salesman for radio station KGNC. In 1971, they moved to Greeley, Colorado, where Bob was on the faculty of the University of Northern Colorado until his death on October 27, 1996. Ruth managed the print shop for Weld Board of Cooperative Education (BOCES) in La Salle from 1973-78. She was also part-time bookkeeper for the preschool at Hillside Baptist Church, Greeley. From 1978-2003, she was typesetter and layout artist for Kerbs Printing in Greeley.
Since 1965, Ruth has been a volunteer English teacher for Spanish-speaking adults in New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado, serving with Right to Read of Weld County for 1981-99. One of her proudest achievements was coaching three Hispanic couples to receive their U.S. citizenship. In 1991, she was chosen to represent Right to Read when Disney World honored President Bush’s volunteer Daily Points of Light in Orlando, Florida.
Ruth was member of and volunteer hike leader for Colorado Mountain Club (Shining Mountains Chapter) for many years; life member of Rocky Mountain Conservancy where she volunteered weekly for the Field Institute; member of Colorado Chapter HP of PEO Sisterhood, Friends of the Colorado Trail, UNC Emeritus Faculty Association, the Nature Conservancy, and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. She was a former member of Texas Woman’s Press Association and Theta Sigma Phi women’s journalism fraternity.
Her favorite activities included reading, Jazzercise, hiking and snowshoeing in national and state parks, and hiking vacations to such places as Switzerland, Ireland, Nova Scotia, Alaska, Macedonia, Iceland, and Mexico. For many years, she and Bob were involved in church drama in Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado. She often accompanied Bob and helped him in critiquing students when he taught off-campus public speaking courses for UNC. She was an active church member in the various cities in which she lived, and attended Faith Church in Loveland.
This past November, at the annual Estes Park Philanthropy celebration, Ruth received the Enduring Service Award “recognizing an individual or group who has made an extraordinary impact on the Estes valley community through philanthropic activities”. This was for her 20+ years of volunteering at the Rocky Mountain Conservancy,
Following Bob’s death in 1996, Ruth moved from La Salle to Loveland in 1998 to be closer to her volunteer work and hiking in her beloved Rocky Mountain National Park. Survivors include sons Richard (wife Peggy Brada, M.D.) of Greeley; Reed (wife Colette) of Nashville, Tennessee; granddaughter Hannah Hess of Dallas; and Peter Mrdjenovich (Colette’s brother) of San Francisco, California.
Following cremation, Ruth will be buried with her husband at Ft. Logan National Cemetery in Denver. A memorial service is planned for Friday, January 18, 2019 at 11:00 A.M. at Viegut Funeral Home, 1616 N. Lincoln Ave, Loveland, CO 80538, with a reception following at the same location. In lieu of flowers, it is asked that anyone wishing to make a gift in Ruth’s memory make it to the Rocky Mountain Conservancy (by mail or online) and note that it is a memorial gift in her name. (rmconservancy.org) or to PEO Chapter HP. The latter will go to the ELF (Educational Loan Fund), a PEO fund that assists qualified women students with higher education and can be sent c/o Peggy Pothast, 625 Adams Ave., Loveland, CO 80537.