Ruth Patton Kamuf passed away at her long-time home in Colorado Springs on September 6, 2013. Her final days were filled with the love of family, the warmth of friendship, and the unflagging attention of her caregivers.
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Ruth was born on February 9, 1921 in Vandergrift, Pennsylvania to John Walker Patton and Anna Redman Patton. Because her father had an army career, Ruth's family often moved when she was young, but by her high school years they were settled in Pittsburgh. Col. John Patton was then an American history teacher in the public high school where Ruth and her older sister Mary were students. It must have been a relief for Ruth to get out from under that stern paternal eye, even if she only went as far as Pennsylvania College for Women in Pittsburgh, later called Chatham College. A biology major, her plan to go to medical school would end up getting derailed, as did so many such plans after December 1941. A few years before that, at a mixer dance with Carnegie Institute of Technology, Ruth had met a handsome engineering student. He had "a funny name" she couldn't remember but before long Nelson Kamuf was the only man in her life. When they were married in December 1942, Nelson was in his navy officer's uniform and would soon ship out to the South Pacific with the Seabees. After the war, the couple lived in Cleveland but soon had migrated to the East Coast and to the Levittowns (New York, Pennsylvania) that Nelson was helping to build for all those returning veterans and their baby-booming families.
And then in 1971, Ruth accompanied her husband on a visit to Colorado Springs, where he was being recruited for an executive position. At the end of the day, Ruth told him she had no intention of leaving the beautiful mountains and the near-perfect climate. So they stayed. Ruth lived a life full of golf, skiing, bridge, RV'ing with the grandkids, trips with her close circle of friends, walks with the dogs in Bear Creek Park, gardening, and holidays with family whenever they could visit. For more than forty years, she never stopped loving the sight of those mountains.
She is survived by her son Rodger Kamuf of Burtonsville, Maryland, her daughter Peggy Kamuf of Los Angeles, her son James Kamuf of Bayfield, Colorado, and her sister Jean Patton Bridgers of South Hills, Pennsylvania. She is also survived by her beloved grandchildren Kimberly Fawcett (Rick) and Rodger Kamuf, Jr (Allison), her six great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Nelson took his departure in 2006 and before that, Ruth's sister Mary, brother James, and daughter-in-law Karen predeceased her.
Ruth's family wishes to thank the nurses, staff, and volunteers at Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care for their compassion. Above all, her family is grateful to the wonderful caregivers who tended to her needs with such devotion.
A service and the inurnment will take place at Broadmoor Community Church on Saturday, September 21, at 4:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in Ruth's name to the American Indian College Fund.
Published in The Gazette on Sept. 10, 2013