A Centennial Celebration of Life
By Dorothy E. Noe
Photo by Dan White
Ruth Ives, 100, of Placitas died from natural causes in her home on May 5, 2023 surrounded by her family.
Ruth celebrated her 100th birthday this past December and in her lifetime witnessed the Great Depression, Amelia Earhart’s transatlantic flight, World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars, Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier, astronauts walking on the moon, hippies and communes, 9/11 and an asteroid knocked off its orbit. Ruth Ives saw it all.
Ruth, an artist of note, was born in Mendota, Illinois, grew up in Rockford, Illinois and studied at the Layton School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1972, she and her husband, Chad (deceased), a Retired Army Colonel, settled into their hilltop home with mesa and Sandia views when the area’s renowned hippie communes were morphing into suburbia. A military wife for over 30 years, Ruth is survived by her three children, Pam Bosma of Albuquerque, Warren Ives and his wife Sharon of Heath , Texas and Penny Curtis and her husband Tom of Arlington, Virginia, 8 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.
After moving to Placitas, Ruth and Chad converted their garage into an art studio where Ruth pursued her passion for art. Many of her paintings grace New Mexican homes. Next was a pool, Ruth’s “happy place,” where she swam laps from May until October.
Between painting and entertaining friends and family, Ruth maintained her sense of fun. She was a founding member of the Jardineras de Placitas and an active participant in the annual Placitas 4th of July Parade. In 1978, she was hired as an extra for Sam Peckinpah’s movie, “Convoy,” starring Ali McGraw and Kris Kristofferson. Her granddaughter, Abby, once rolled her eyes in teen-age despair when Ruth dressed as a cowgirl to attend the local rodeo.
Ruth was known as an avid hostess throwing dinner and patio pool parties, birthday festivities, movie nights and luncheons at the drop of a hat – St Paddy’s Day brought out the platter of corned beef and cabbage, Kentucky Derby day meant fancy hats, bets and mint juleps. And, you were always invited to join Ruth at day’s end for “happy hour.” She’d quickly whip up a salmon dip and crackers and sip her favorite adult beverage – iced Chardonnay.
A fan of flight since childhood, Ruth followed any news about space exploration. She once lamented, “My only regret is not having the chance to go into space.” Ruth crammed a lot into her 100-years and will be forever missed by family, friends and everyone who knew her.
Donations in memory of Ruth Ives may be made to El Pueblo Health Services, 121 Calle del Presidente, Bernalillo, NM 87004.