Ruth Lynne Reeve Jenson
Ruth passed away in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on April 14, 2022, shortly after turning 80 years old.
Born in Valley City ND, sister to Roxann and second daughter to Helen (Montgomery) and Byron Reeve, Ruth spent most of her childhood in Iron Mountain, Michigan and Spread Eagle, Wisconsin. An avid skier, she attended the University of Colorado Boulder for three years, and though she graduated from Northern Michigan University, she remained devoted to Colorado and the Buffs. Ruth married Thomas H. Jenson on June 27, 1964. Tom Jr, Margot, and Byron completed their family.
Tom and Ruth moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1970 where Ruth began her career, first as a teacher, then an administrator and principal. She taught hundreds of students at St Michael’s and All Angels Parish Day School and Salpointe Catholic High School. She became the principal at both schools and at the latter, the first woman and lay-person to hold that title. Always a teacher, she inspired many while sharing her love for humanities, government, and American history. In 1987, she was appointed by President George H. W. Bush and served three years as a member of the National Advisory Council on Educational Research and Improvement. When her children left AZ, Tom and Ruth relocated to southern California. In Los Angeles, she was the director of admission for the Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences and helped founders establish The Archer School for Girls.
While her career was fulfilling – and sometimes entertaining, especially in Los Angeles – nothing was more important to her than family and friends. Ruth laughed a lot, was a voracious reader, cooked and baked up a storm, was a patient problem solver, aspired to travel as often as possible, and dearly loved birthdays and the holidays. She initiated the St Michael’s Washington DC 8th grade trip that included visits with AZ senators and congressmen, museums, and the infamous Harrington Hotel. She took a white-water rafting trip down the Colorado River in her 50s because she was adventurous at heart and took any opportunity to return to her beloved Colorado. Her predictable response to particularly challenging situations was, “well, let’s think about that.” And as everyone who came to know her would attest, she frequently found solutions. During the summer she could often be found on San Diego beaches with her feet in the sand, slathering on sunscreen while reading and intermittently boogie-boarding and lazing about. “The beach is the best babysitter there is!” She often visited Europe with friends and family and relished historical tours. Ruth also loved to throw a good party - the Jenson Christmas Eve Open House in Tucson was a staple for nearly 25 years, replete with family and friends from all over the country, as it grew larger, louder, and ended later and later every year. Requests for her fudge recipe persist today.
At her core, Ruth was an exceptionally generous, fair, and loving person to family, friends, and colleagues. The delight she took in doing things with and for her husband, children, and grandchildren, supporting them in their endeavors, and helping friends and colleagues was simply a part of her identity. Ruth will be missed by many and is cherished beyond measure by her family. She left a legacy of compassion, education, kindness, and love. Her death leaves sadness but in the end, her family considers themselves extraordinarily lucky to have had her as a mother, sister, daughter, aunt, and wife.
Ruth is survived by her husband Tom Sr, brother-in-law Raman, Tom Jr and Michelle, Margot and Ron, Byron and Tracy, nieces Tara and Kia, and her beloved grandchildren Thomas III, Hannah, Tyler, Helena, Gunnar, William, and Alex, who were undeniably, the sparkle in her warm brown eyes.
A scholarship at St Michael’s and All Angels of Tucson will be established in Ruth’s honor. It will support a high achieving student who would otherwise be unable to attend. Gifts in honor of Ruth can be sent to: St Michael’s and All Angels, 602 N Wilmot Rd, Tucson, AZ 85711 or made online at https://stmichael.net/ruthjenson/.
Arrangements entrusted to the caring professionals of:
Trujillo Family Funeral Home
110 Alvarado Drive SE
Albuquerque, NM 87108