Ruth Ann (Hugins) Brown was born on November 15, 1922 in Littleton, Colorado. She was the third of six children born to Adelaide (Ayers) and Walter Hugins. While at Littleton High School Ruth lettered in forensics (the art or study of formal debate)! She was also on the yearbook staff, wrote for the school newspaper, and played flute in the band. Ruth excelled academically, graduating with honors from Littleton High School in 1940.
At age 17, Ruth headed off to Sweet Briar College in Virginia. Her two older brothers, Walt Jr. and Bob were also in the east at Princeton University. After completing two years at Sweet Briar College, Ruth transferred to Denver University and moved back to Colorado. Her parents had a new baby, David, plus her 10 year old sister, Betz, still lived at home.
In August 1943, Ruth joined her three brothers, Walt, Bob, and Dick in serving their country in WWII. She enlisted in the Navy as a “Wave” and went to basic training in New York. After only a few weeks, she was sent cross-country to San Francisco to work in the cable office. These days seemed to be the highlight of her life as she often recounted memories of her experiences and kept in touch with her Navy friends. Eventually, Ruth was stationed in Hawaii for the remainder of the war.
After returning home in 1945, she continued her education at Denver University. Along with going to school, Ruth also worked part time for her father who was a CPA. Graduating with a degree in secretarial studies in 1947, Ruth then worked as a secretary, first for Continental Airlines, then Rocky Flats, a nuclear weapons plant near Denver. While at Rocky Flats, she met Vern Brown in a carpool.
Vern and Ruth married in 1959. The following year, their only child, Leslie was born. They bought a home in Arvada, a suburb of Denver, where they lived for 47 years. Vern continued to work at Rocky Flats while Ruth became a homemaker. She was involved in the school PTA and was often a room mother at Leslie’s school. She spent two years as a Camp Fire Girl leader. Hobbies that she shared with Vern were league bowling, duplicate bridge, and polka dancing. She was the Democrat precinct captain in her neighborhood for 30 years, retiring at age 81. Ruth also was an election judge for many years.
Ruth’s final 18 months were spent at Aegis Assisted Living and Memory Care in Edmonds, WA. Although losing her sight to glaucoma and macular degeneration plus her memory to Alzheimer’s, Ruth maintained her sense of humor and polite disposition throughout her final days. She passed away on May 22, 2012.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, Walter and Adelaide Hugins, her brother Walt Hugins, her brother Bob Hugins, and her brother Dick Hugins. She is survived by her husband Vern Brown of Edmonds, WA, daughter Leslie Nilan of Edmonds, WA, her sister Liz (Betz) Ellenberger of Ventura, CA, and her brother David Hugins of Ventura, CA.
A memorial service will be held at North Sound Church, 404 Bell St., Edmonds, WA on June 25th, 2012 at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at Tahoma National Cemetery, 18600 Southeast 240th Street, Kent, WA at 2:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association www.alz.org or Glaucoma Research Foundation www.glaucoma.org.
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