Ida Ruth Woods
Colorado Springs - Ida Ruth Woods (Ruth) passed away peacefully at her residence in Colorado Springs on Saturday, May 29, 2021, at the age of 95.
Ruth was born on July 27, 1925, in Ault, Colorado, to Alexander and Rebecca (Viers) Lopkoff. She graduated from Greeley High School in 1942 and attended Colorado State College of Education (currently University of Northern Colorado), graduating in 1946 with a B.A. degree in Home Economics. After her graduation from college she moved to Denver, Colorado, to work as a quality control specialist at Baur's Confectionary Company. It was while she was living and working in Denver that she married her college sweetheart, Frank J. Woods. Following her 1946 marriage to Frank, the couple moved to Las Animas, Colorado, where Frank owned a five-and-dime store. The couple raised three children in Las Animas and Ruth assisted her husband in the business and later worked as a full-time teacher.
While teaching third grade in Las Animas, Ruth found her true passion, which was working with children who had learning disabilities. She had suffered from learning disabilities herself and felt a special connection with these students. Her desire to teach in this area of education led her to spend her summers earning her Master's Degree in 1971 in Special Education from Adam's State College in Alamosa, Colorado. Ruth subsequently taught Special Education in the Las Animas school system for several years and, following her divorce, moved to La Junta, Colorado, to continue her teaching career.
In 1998 Ruth married Dale H. Shoemaker of La Junta, Colorado. Together the couple spent 15 years, traveling the world, dancing together at every opportunity, and playing numerous card games with friends and family. Ruth moved to Colorado Springs, CO, in 2013 and enjoyed the last years of her life spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Ruth never gave up her desire to help children and at the age of 93, assisted by her good friend Mollie Williams, she started a program in Colorado Springs to honor elementary children for their good character, citizenship, and willingness to help others. They, along with other members of their retirement community, distributed Golden Rule awards to children who had been nominated for these qualities by their teachers.
Throughout her life, Ruth was active in politics. She supported candidates at the local, state, and national level. She was honored to be appointed by Governor John Love to serve on the judicial nominating committee for District 16 in Colorado. At the state convention in Denver, CO, she seconded the nomination of Judge David Enoch of Colorado Springs, CO, when he ran for the United States Congress. She received a personal letter from President Gerald Ford, thanking her for her help in his candidacy for United States President.
Ruth brought a zest and sense of humor to all aspects of her life. Her passions included her love of dancing -- she shared many fond memories of her youth, dancing to the tunes of musicians like Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman at Elitch Gardens in Denver -- teaching and tutoring children, spending time with friends, playing bridge, and making people laugh.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Daniel Ralston, Alexander Lopkoff, and Samuel Lopkoff, and her beloved sons, Frank Eric Woods and Kenneth LeRoy Woods. She is survived by her daughter Karen (Mike) McDivitt of Colorado Springs, her brother Arthur Lopkoff and his wife Daphne Yee of Eugene, Oregon, her daughter-in-law Sherri (Ken) Woods of Colorado Springs, and her sister-in-law Katie (Alexander) Lopkoff of La Junta, CO. She is also survived by four grandchildren: David McDivitt, Lisa (Stan) McDivitt Bush, Rebecca (Mike) Hartman, and Katherine (Eddie) Miller; and seven
great-grandchildren: Alex Miller, Kiersten Hartman, Shannon Hartman, Nicolette McDivitt, Luke McDivitt, Campbell Bush, and Everett Bush. She will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved her.
Should friends desire, a memorial contribution may be made to the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) 461 Cochran Road Suite 245 Pittsburgh, PA 15228. (info@LDAAmerica.org).
Funeral service will be held Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 111 E. 20th St., Las Junta, CO 81050, with a reception to follow and graveside services to follow at Las Animas Cemetery, 28082 County Road 10 75, Las Animas, CO 81504.
Published on June 10, 2021