OBITUARY

Shirley Ruth Sawyer

July 21, 1928April 10, 2019
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Shirley Ruth Jacobs Sawyer was a miracle from the day she was born at home, July 21, 1928.

Her parent’s car had slipped off a muddy road into a ditch while her mother was holding her brother Wayne in her lap. Ruth was born that day. The doctor came from Craig, but did not even weigh Ruth because she was premature and too small to weigh. Her mother Waunita Marguerite Lucas Jacobs always said that a demitasse cup could fit over her head when she was born.

Ruth was born at home at Cross Mountain, Colorado which was a one family town. Ruth’s parents had the Post Office, General Store and Gas Station on US 40 about 45 miles west of Craig, Colorado. They homesteaded there just after their son Wayne was born in 1926. There was no electricity and no inside plumbing. There was a door going out of the dining room of the house that had a solid panel. That panel was replaced with glass so that Ruth’s father could see the gas pumps from the house. That panel was painted and made into a game board for Pollyanna (also known as Parcheesi) by a neighbor, Mrs. Labron. Ruth and her sisters played on that game board until the present day. Ruth used to drive the tractor on the farm frequently. She drove the tractor to remove dirt to help build a cistern for storing snow for fresh water year round. Ruth would return on the tractor with loads of sand to make the cement for the cistern from Lilly Park with her sisters riding along to help. They had horses, cows, goats, pigs and chickens on the farm. They grew potatoes, corn and wheat. Ruth’s father Frank Leslie Jacobs had a brand for the cattle F bar J that Ruth’s daughter Joanna and Son-in-law Chip Meston now carry on as their cattle brand for Fifteen Mile Ranch, LLC.

Ruth and her brother and three younger sisters were schooled in a one room schoolhouse, first at Elk Springs, Colorado with fifteen children, then later with ten children in the Grange Hall at Cross Mountain. School was only offered until the eighth grade in Moffat County at the time. So that Wayne and Ruth could continue their educations, the family returned to Denver.

They left for Denver on July 21, 1943 on Ruth’s 15th birthday. That night, all five children had their tonsils removed in Craig, Colorado. The next day, they continued the move to Denver.

Ruth attended Cole Junior High starting in 8th grade. Ruth’s sisters started at Wyatt Elementary. Eileen was in sixth grade, Frances was in fourth grade and Dottie was in the second grade. Ruth later attended Manual High School. She attended Barnes Business College, completing the course of study to be a comptometer operator.

After high school, Ruth went to work at the Telenews Theater as a cashier. Ruth spotted a young man entering the theater without a pass and called to him “Hey you, come here”. It turned out that the boy, James Lee Sawyer, worked there as an usher. She asked him if he didn’t used to go to Manual High School and he told her that he still did. Their friendship grew as they would ride the bus home together to the neighborhood where they both lived. Jim asked Ruthie to marry him on Christmas Eve of 1948. They married July 17, 1949 at the Galilee Baptist Church in Denver, Colorado.

Jim and Ruth moved several times in their first years together, living in Colorado, Nebraska, California and Arizona. Jim and Ruth had three children. Jim and Ruth’s oldest son, James Daniel Sawyer, was born in Pueblo, Colorado on April 28, 1953. Even though Ruth had suffered a miscarriage August 20, 1952, Jim was premature and was born about the same time that the other baby would have been due. John David Sawyer was born in Denver, Colorado on July 17, 1956 on Jim and Ruth’s anniversary. Joanna Darlene Sawyer was born In Westminster, California October 26, 1961. Jim and Ruth returned to Colorado early in 1962 to raise their children near family. When two nephews of Jim’s joined the household, Jim and Ruth decided that with five children in the house, they needed a bigger place and moved to Littleton. Jim had been working as the shop general manager for a reinforcing steel fabrication business.

Jim later started his own reinforcing steel fabrication company, Tri-Jay Enterprises. Ruth served as the bookkeeper for the business while raising their family. When they were old enough, Danny and Dave also worked in the family business in the steel shop. On Christmas Eve morning, 1975, on the way to work, Jim and Danny pulled over so that Jim could clean snow off of the windshield. Jim was hit by a car, suffering a fracture in his back. The family business that had grown to be the third largest reinforcing steel shop in Denver did not survive the recovery process for Jim. Jim and Ruth later moved to Grand Junction in 1978 to try to re-start the business. Jim decided to sell his interest in the equipment (much of which he had designed) to the other investors and the family returned to Denver in 1979. Ruth found other work as a bookkeeper. Later, when an opportunity arose with Trollinger Geological Associates (later Petroleum Information), Ruth took a job as a Geological Survey map painter working side by side with her sister Frances Jacobs. Ruth loved the fine detail work hand painting the maps and worked there for ten years until she retired.

Throughout her life, Ruth’s greatest joy came from caring for children. Ruth’s mother Waunita used to tell stories of Ruth caring for her three younger sisters including a time when three-year-old Ruth carried her infant sister Eileen out to Momma working in the field when Eileen needed to be changed! Ruth loved to help with her sisters, nieces, and nephews when they were babies. Ruth was featured in the Rocky Mountain News with three of her nephews. William Gene Cox was Jim’s sister Barbara’s son, Dale Gene Jacobs was Ruth’s brother Wayne’s son and Jesse H. Sawyer III was Jim’s brother Jesse’s son. The three boys had been born to three different families in three different parts of the country on the same day, March 29, 1951.

After her retirement, Ruth began babysitting. Her daughter Joanna found an ad in the paper from a family looking for a daycare provider for their son Jamie. Ruth watched Jamie and his brother Sean until they went to school. Ruth was so good with the children that she practically became a part of the family and maintained close lifelong ties with them. Ruth was able to attend Jamie’s wedding in Minnesota August 27, 2016. Ruth also cared for Kimberly and Caroline, the children of Joanna’s good friend and fellow anesthesia resident, Diane Gill. Diane was like another daughter for Jim and Ruth. After Joanna took her first anesthesia position in Illinois, and Diane’s husband Jerry went to John’s Hopkins for his Emergency Medicine residency, Diane moved in with Jim and Ruth to make it easier for Ruth to watch the girls while Diane endured the long hours required of an anesthesia resident. Ruth was a Godsend for all of the people who entrusted their children to her loving care. When Joanna needed help with her own three children while she was at work, Ruth and Jim were instantly available. They lived near or with Joanna and helped to care for their grandchildren Christopher, Veronica and James in Arizona and later in Colorado. In 2003, Joanna bought the ranch in Bennett and Jim and Ruth, as well as Joanna’s brother Jim and his son Tim and Joanna’s children all moved there together. Ruth not only helped to watch Chris, Ronnie and James, but also Tyler, Sam and Ben who were Eileen Merchant’s boys. Eileen sold Joanna the ranch and stayed there for six months with the Sawyer family until she finalized her plans and moved to Kimball, Nebraska.

Ruth’s husband Jim passed away February 13, 2006. They were married for 56 years. Joanna, Ruth and the children moved to Highlands Ranch that same month. Joanna met her husband Chip later that year. While Chip and Joanna were away on their honeymoon on July 13, 2007, James Daniel, Ruth’s oldest son, was killed in an accident by a drunk driver. The family returned to the Ranch in November, 2008. Ruth’s sister Dottie moved in with them after Dottie had retired so that the two sisters could spend time together. A couple years later, after Dottie had moved to the Eastern Star Retirement Home, Ruth stayed much of the time with her other two sisters Fran and Eileen in their mother’s home in Denver until 2019. In July of 2018, the family celebrated a joint birthday party for Ruth on her 90th and little sister Dottie who’s birthday is also in July.

Ruth passed from this life into the next April 10, 2019.

In her 90 years, Ruth touched many hearts and taught numerous children to be honest, caring and selfless and to love others with purity and kindness. She will be greatly missed until we all meet again.

Ruth is survived by three sisters, Georgia Eileen Jacobs, Frances Arlene Jacobs and Dorothy Mae Martin, two of her children, John David Sawyer (Peggy Jo Sawyer) and Joanna Darlene Meston (Orvis “Chip” Miles Meston), nine grandchildren, Steven Marshall Sawyer (Michelle Renee Sawyer), Kevin Michael Birka (Angela Marie Birka), Amanda Lea Krueger (Kyle Lee Krueger), Mark Frederick Meston, Timothy James Sawyer, Brenna Rose Sawyer (Andrew Christopher Graves), Christopher Joseph Trimmer Sawyer (Abigail Rose Best), Veronica Marguarite Trimmer Sawyer (Brandon Robert Fisher) and James Thomas Trimmer Sawyer, eight great-grandchildren, Jayme Danielle Sawyer and Wyatt James Sawyer, Layne Marshall Sawyer and Colton David Sawyer and Lauren Renae Meston and Matthew Carl Krueger, Corinna Elizabeth Birka and McKenna Lynn Birka, one great-great-grandchild Grayson Wade Carroll, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Ruth was preceded in death by her husband James Lee Sawyer, parents Frank Leslie Jacobs and Waunita Marguerite Lucas Jacobs, brother Wayne Leslie Jacobs, son James Daniel Sawyer and great-grandson Keaghen Matthew Birka.

The viewing will be held at Olinger Chapel Hill Mortuary on Friday April 19, 2019 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm and from noon until 1:00 pm on Saturday April 20, 2019.

The service honoring Ruth’s life will be held at Olinger Chapel Hill Mortuary on Saturday April 20, 2019 at 1:00. Pastor Jim Emig of Kiowa Creek Community Church will officiate.

Graveside services will be held at Chapel Hill Cemetery at 2:00 pm.

An Easter egg hunt for all ages (we are all children at heart!) will be held immediately following at the church playground on the north side of Chapel Hill to celebrate Ruth’s love of children.

Dinner will be served at 4:00 pm at Maggiano’s Little Italy at 7401 S. Clinton St., Englewood, CO 80112.

Ruth’s father Frank Leslie Jacobs loved poetry and memorized a poem that the family found in his handwriting after he had passed in July, 1954. It is especially meaningful at this time.

AT THE END ~ By Walt Mason

We do our little stunt on earth,

And when it’s time to die,

The ice we’ve cut has little worth,

We’ve wasted time we sigh

When one has snow above his ears

And age has chilled his veins

He looks back on the vanished years

His spirits racked with pain

However well he may have done

It all seems trifling then

Alas, if he could only

Run his little course again

He would not then so greatly prize

The sordid silver plunk

For when a man grows old and wise

He knows that coin is junk.

One kindly action of the past

If such you can recall

Will soothe you greatly at the last

When memory is all.

If you have helped some Pilgrim climb

from darkness and despair

The action in your twilight time

Will ease your weight of care.

The triumph of your busiest day

by stealth or sharpness gained,

Oh comrade in the dusk of life

When you have ceased to grind.

When you await the curtain fall,

The setting of the sun

How you will struggle to recall

The good that you have done.

Services

19 April

Visitation

5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Olinger Chapel Hill Mortuary

6601 South Colorado Blvd
Centennial, CO 80121

20 April

Visitation

12:00 pm

Olinger Chapel Hill Mortuary

6601 South Colorado Blvd
Centennial, CO 80121

20 April

Funeral Service

1:00 pm

Olinger Chapel Hill Mortuary

6601 South Colorado Blvd
Centennial, CO 80121

20 April

Graveside Service

2:00 pm

Olinger Chapel Hill Cemetery

6601 South Colorado Blvd
Centennial, CO 80121

REMEMBERING

Shirley Ruth Sawyer

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Biography

Shirley Ruth Jacobs Sawyer was a miracle from the day she was born at home, July 21, 1928.

Her parent’s car had slipped off a muddy road into a ditch while her mother was holding her brother Wayne in her lap. Ruth was born that day. The doctor came from Craig, but did not even weigh Ruth because she was premature and too small to weigh. Her mother Waunita Marguerite Lucas Jacobs always said that a demitasse cup could fit over her head when she was born.

Ruth was born at home at Cross Mountain, Colorado which was a one family town. Ruth’s parents had the Post Office, General Store and Gas Station on US 40 about 45 miles west of Craig, Colorado. They homesteaded there just after their son Wayne was born in 1926. There was no electricity and no inside plumbing. There was a door going out of the dining room of the house that had a solid panel. That panel was replaced with glass so that Ruth’s father could see the gas pumps from the house. That panel was painted and made into a game board for Pollyanna (also known as Parcheesi) by a neighbor, Mrs. Labron. Ruth and her sisters played on that game board until the present day. Ruth used to drive the tractor on the farm frequently. She drove the tractor to remove dirt to help build a cistern for storing snow for fresh water year round. Ruth would return on the tractor with loads of sand to make the cement for the cistern from Lilly Park with her sisters riding along to help. They had horses, cows, goats, pigs and chickens on the farm. They grew potatoes, corn and wheat. Ruth’s father Frank Leslie Jacobs had a brand for the cattle F bar J that Ruth’s daughter Joanna and Son-in-law Chip Meston now carry on as their cattle brand for Fifteen Mile Ranch, LLC.

Ruth and her brother and three younger sisters were schooled in a one room schoolhouse, first at Elk Springs, Colorado with fifteen children, then later with ten children in the Grange Hall at Cross Mountain. School was only offered until the eighth grade in Moffat County at the time. So that Wayne and Ruth could continue their educations, the family returned to Denver.

They left for Denver on July 21, 1943 on Ruth’s 15th birthday. That night, all five children had their tonsils removed in Craig, Colorado. The next day, they continued the move to Denver.

Ruth attended Cole Junior High starting in 8th grade. Ruth’s sisters started at Wyatt Elementary. Eileen was in sixth grade, Frances was in fourth grade and Dottie was in the second grade. Ruth later attended Manual High School. She attended Barnes Business College, completing the course of study to be a comptometer operator.

After high school, Ruth went to work at the Telenews Theater as a cashier. Ruth spotted a young man entering the theater without a pass and called to him “Hey you, come here”. It turned out that the boy, James Lee Sawyer, worked there as an usher. She asked him if he didn’t used to go to Manual High School and he told her that he still did. Their friendship grew as they would ride the bus home together to the neighborhood where they both lived. Jim asked Ruthie to marry him on Christmas Eve of 1948. They married July 17, 1949 at the Galilee Baptist Church in Denver, Colorado.

Jim and Ruth moved several times in their first years together, living in Colorado, Nebraska, California and Arizona. Jim and Ruth had three children. Jim and Ruth’s oldest son, James Daniel Sawyer, was born in Pueblo, Colorado on April 28, 1953. Even though Ruth had suffered a miscarriage August 20, 1952, Jim was premature and was born about the same time that the other baby would have been due. John David Sawyer was born in Denver, Colorado on July 17, 1956 on Jim and Ruth’s anniversary. Joanna Darlene Sawyer was born In Westminster, California October 26, 1961. Jim and Ruth returned to Colorado early in 1962 to raise their children near family. When two nephews of Jim’s joined the household, Jim and Ruth decided that with five children in the house, they needed a bigger place and moved to Littleton. Jim had been working as the shop general manager for a reinforcing steel fabrication business.

Jim later started his own reinforcing steel fabrication company, Tri-Jay Enterprises. Ruth served as the bookkeeper for the business while raising their family. When they were old enough, Danny and Dave also worked in the family business in the steel shop. On Christmas Eve morning, 1975, on the way to work, Jim and Danny pulled over so that Jim could clean snow off of the windshield. Jim was hit by a car, suffering a fracture in his back. The family business that had grown to be the third largest reinforcing steel fabrication shop in Denver did not survive the recovery process for Jim. Jim and Ruth later moved to Grand Junction in 1978 to try to re-start the business. Jim decided to sell his interest in the equipment (much of which he had designed) to the other investors and the family returned to Denver in 1979. Ruth found other work as a bookkeeper. Later, when an opportunity arose with Trollinger Geological Associates (later Petroleum Information), Ruth took a job as a Geological Survey map painter working side by side with her sister Frances Jacobs. Ruth loved the fine detail work hand painting the maps and worked there for ten years until she retired.

Throughout her life, Ruth’s greatest joy came from caring for children. Ruth’s mother Waunita used to tell stories of Ruth caring for her three younger sisters including a time when three year old Ruth carried her infant sister Eileen out to Momma working in the field when Eileen needed to be changed! Ruth loved to help with her sisters, nieces and nephews when they were babies. Ruth was featured in the Rocky Mountain News with three of her nephews. William Gene Cox was Jim’s sister Barbara’s son, Dale Gene Jacobs was Ruth’s brother Wayne’s son and Jesse H. Sawyer III was Jim’s brother Jesse’s son. The three boys had been born to three different families in three different parts of the country on the same day, March 29, 1951.

After her retirement, Ruth began babysitting. Her daughter Joanna found an ad in the paper from a family looking for a day care provider for their son Jamie. Ruth watched Jamie and his brother Sean until they went to school. Ruth was so good with the children that she practically became a part of the family and maintained close lifelong ties with them. Ruth was able to attend Jamie’s wedding in Minnesota August 27, 2016. Ruth also cared for Kimberly and Caroline, the children of Joanna’s good friend and fellow anesthesia resident, Diane Gill. Diane was like another daughter for Jim and Ruth. After Joanna took her first anesthesia position in Illinois, and Diane’s husband Jerry went to John’s Hopkins for his Emergency Medicine residency, Diane moved in with Jim and Ruth to make it easier for Ruth to watch the girls while Diane endured the long hours required of an anesthesia resident. Ruth was a Godsend for all of the people who entrusted their children to her loving care. When Joanna needed help with her own three children while she was at work, Ruth and Jim were instantly available. They lived near or with Joanna and helped to care for their grandchildren Christopher, Veronica and James in Arizona and later in Colorado. In 2003, Joanna bought the ranch in Bennett and Jim and Ruth as well as Joanna’s brother Jim and his son Tim and Joanna’s children all moved there together. Ruth not only helped to watch Chris, Ronnie and James, but also Tyler, Sam and Ben who were Eileen Merchant’s boys. Eileen sold Joanna the ranch and stayed there for six months with the Sawyer family until she finalized her plans and moved to Kimball, Nebraska.

Ruth’s husband Jim passed away February 13, 2006. They were married for 56 years. Joanna, Ruth and the children moved to Highlands Ranch that same month. Joanna met her husband Chip later that year. While Chip and Joanna were away on their honeymoon on July 13, 2007, James Daniel, Ruth’s oldest son, was killed in an accident by a drunk driver. The family returned to the Ranch in November, 2008. Ruth’s sister Dottie moved in with them after Dottie had retired so that the two sisters could spend time together. A couple years later, after Dottie had moved to the Eastern Star Retirement Home, Ruth stayed much of the time with her other two sisters Fran and Eileen in their mother’s home in Denver until 2019. In July of 2018, the family celebrated a joint birthday party for Ruth on her 90th and Dottie who’s birthday is also in July. Ruth passed from this life into the next April 10, 2019.

In her 90 years, Ruth touched many hearts and taught numerous children to be honest, caring and selfless and to love others with purity and kindness. She will be greatly missed until we all meet again.

Ruth is survived by two of her children, John David Sawyer (Peggy Jo Sawyer) and Joanna Darlene Meston (Orvis “Chip” Miles Meston), nine grandchildren, Steven Marshall Sawyer (Michelle Renee Sawyer), Kevin Michael Birka (Angela Marie Birka), Amanda Lea Krueger (Kyle Lee Krueger), Mark Frederick Meston, Timothy James Sawyer, Brenna Rose Sawyer (Andrew Christopher Graves), Christopher Joseph Trimmer Sawyer (Abigail Rose Best), Veronica Marguarite Trimmer Sawyer (Brandon Robert Fisher) and James Thomas Trimmer Sawyer and six great-grandchildren, Jayme Danielle Sawyer and Wyatt James Sawyer, Layne Marshall Sawyer and Colton David Sawyer and Lauren Renae Meston and Matthew Carl Krueger, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.


Ruth’s father Frank Leslie Jacobs loved poetry and memorized a poem that the family found in his handwriting after he had passed in July, 1954. It is especially meaningful at this time.


AT THE END ~ By Walt Mason

We do our little stunt on earth,

And when it’s time to die,

The ice we’ve cut has little worth,

We’ve wasted time we sigh

When one has snow above his ears

And age has chilled his veins

He looks back on the vanished years

His spirits racked with pain

However well he may have done

It all seems trifling then

Alas, if he could only

Run his little course again

He would not then so greatly prize

The sordid silver plunk

For when a man grows old and wise

He knows that coin is junk.

One kindly action of the past

If such you can recall

Will soothe you greatly at the last

When memory is all.

If you have helped some Pilgrim climb

from darkness and despair

The action in your twilight time

Will ease your weight of care.

The triumph of your busiest day

by stealth or sharpness gained,

Oh comrade in the dusk of life

When you have ceased to grind.

When you await the curtain fall,

The setting of the sun

How you will struggle to recall

The good that you have done.