Ruth Jean Robertson

Robertson, Ruth Jean
Ruth Jean Penn Robertson died February 14, 2013. She was born in Frankfort, Kentucky, on July 2, 1927. The youngest of 10 children, Ruth grew up on a farm in Bald Knob and was often called Ruthie Jean. Ruth was a cheerleader at Bald Knob High School, from which she graduated in 1945. She was named Good Citizen of Bald Knob High School by the Daughters of the American Revolution. She went to work and soon moved into Frankfort, boarding with Anna Mae Robertson (Bates Connelly) and her young son Cal. It wasn't long after Anna Mae's brother Bill returned home from his WWII service in the Marine Corps before he started courting Ruth. They married in August 1947. Ruth became the breadwinner as Bill completed his studies at the University of Kentucky and during his graduate work at Purdue University. They moved to New York in 1952 and bought a home in the original Levittown. Ruth worked first for the Long Island Agriculture and Technical Institute and then for a small electrical supply business in Hempstead, where she served as the "Girl Friday" for the owner/operator. She worked there until shortly before their first daughter, Kathy, was born in 1954. In 1959, Sperry Rand transferred the family to Phoenix where their second daughter, Sue, was born in 1962. The family lived briefly in the Los Angeles area and then happily returned to Phoenix in 1968. Ruth and Bill designed and built their home in Moon Valley and grew to love the neighborhood increasingly over time. Once Sue graduated from the U of A and moved out, Ruth worked for several years part-time in a small, "unique" toy store. She had "retired" from this by the time her first grandchild, Agustin, arrived in 1998. She greatly enjoyed helping Sue and spending time with Agustin and had her joy doubled with the arrival of Ariana in 2001. Ruth did not let her diagnosis of emphysema in 2005 slow her down much. She toted a portable oxygen tank and continued to drive and run her own errands. And travel with Bill to their second home in Flagstaff when the summer heat arrived. Ruth remained, as her HOV nurse said, "strong, a real fighter" to her final days. Ruth is preceded in death by her husband, Bill. She is survived by daughters Kathy (Jeffrey) Behr and Sue (Augie) Jimenez and two grandchildren, Agustin and Ariana Jimenez. Ruth's family will hold a private inurnment. We welcome contributions in Ruth's name to , 1510 E. Flower Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014. We are very grateful for the loving and expert support that HOV gave to all of us. Please visit to place online condolences.

Published in The Arizona Republic on Feb. 20, 2013