RUTH ELAINE COLEMAN

Obituary
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RUTH ELAINE COLEMAN 79, died peacefully at home in Santa Fe, on December 16, 2013. "Ruthe" (as she was known by her friends and family) is survived by her four sons and their spouses (Glen and Karyn, Scott and Melissa, Curtis, & David and Emily); and eight grandchildren (India, Joshua, Kalynne, Sarah, Chaya, Evan, Chance, and Story). Born and raised on Long Island, New York, Ruthe developed a lifelong passion for music and the arts. After graduating from Wellington C. Mepham High School, she attended Florida State University. In 1954, a thread of adventure wove its way into her life. She relocated to Los Angeles, California and joined with her beloved husband, Ken. They were married for 58 years until his death in July, 2012. Ruthe's life overflowed with purpose and fulfillment. She knew the value of each unique experience. From travel and adventure, to volunteerism, to the pursuit of beauty through visual and performing arts, to the deep appreciation of family and friends, she embraced life with gratitude, grace, and a beautiful smile. Indeed, Ruthe was much more than her associations, affiliations, or accomplishments. She breathed life into the moment and truly shared herself with the people she met. Ruthe was a member and patron of many communities including Los Angeles' Leo Baeck Temple and the Concern Foundation for Cancer Research. Before she moved to New Mexico in 1999, Ruthe fed her passion for music through singing with the Los Angeles Master Chorale. As she did in L.A., Ruthe made many cultural contributions while in Santa Fe. She immediately fell in love with the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra and was a regular at The Lensic and simulcast performances of the Metropolitan Opera. One of her favorite projects in recent years was "Fanfare" the Santa Fe Symphony's effort to provide musical instruments, live performances, and music education experiences for public school children in the area. With her unique ability to grow and adapt throughout life, Ruthe was able to cherish both the present and the past. In the 80s and 90s she was an avid bicyclist, traveling all over the world by bicycle with her husband, Ken. While she enjoyed the "ride", Ruthe looked forward to meeting up with her friends and the personal connections she made along the way. Late in the 90s Ruthe took a shine to painting. Her interest bloomed into extraordinary talent, always experimenting with new mediums to express her love of still life and the Southwest. Right to the very end, Ruthe was a lifelong learner. She insisted on being taught how to use the technology that so eluded many of her generation. Her genuine desire to know how to surf the internet and operate remote controls, cell phones, and iPads was a testament to her love of learning. Simply put, she wanted to click the mouse for herself. Ruthe was an amazing wife, mother and friend who always maintained a welcoming and beautiful home. Her dinner and holiday parties were legendary and she often opened up her Santa Fe home to the Symphony and other community organizations. From early in her life, Ruthe developed a mother's compassion and sought to give everyone around her the benefit of the doubt. Because of this, she was universally loved. There is not a single person in this world who met Ruthe who did not love and appreciate her. Ruthe Coleman was a rare and beautiful desert flower; strong against the elements, soothing to the senses, and lasting in the memory. She will be missed by all. In lieu of flowers, in-memoriam donations can be made to: The Santa Fe Symphony and Chorus, Post Office Box 9692, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504-9692, (800) 480-1319, http://www.santafesymphony.org
Published in Santa Fe New Mexican on Jan. 1, 1900
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