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Josephine Ruder, Vail pioneer

Special to the Daily
Vail, CO Colorado
newsroom@vaildaily.com

Josephine E. Ruder passed away Sunday in Castle Rock. She was 88 years old. Jo Ruder and her late husband, Leonard Ruder, were early pioneers of upper Eagle County and the Gore Creek Valley, now the town of Vail. Ruder’s Run, on Vail Mountain, was named in honor of Leonard, and, though Josephine never skied, Ruder’s Run always remained an important place for Josephine as she remembered her companion, husband and soulmate.

Jo Ruder is survived by her four children and their families. Steve resides in Hotchkiss. Jean Ruder Jenkins along with her husband, Eldon, and their children, Tommy and Tammy, lives in Grand Junction. Bob continues to live in Vail and is regularly visited by his children, Trent and Blair. Doug is a resident of Palmer Lake and frequently sees his two sons, Todd and Justin. Jo is also survived by her brother Bob and his wife Florence of Littleton; a sister, Violet, and her husband, George Hinkle, also of Littleton; and a brother, Jim, and his wife, Betty, of Bellingham, Wash.

After Leonard died in 1967, Jo split her time between Vail, Avon and Grand Junction, where she settled and made a home. She most recently moved to Castle Rock to be closer to her youngest grandsons, Todd and Justin. Wherever Jo lived, visits to Vail remained precious, especially during the holidays, when she would share her cooking and baking talents with eager friends and family. A few people who considered themselves particularly fortunate were on her “holiday cookie list.” She would send cookies to Trent and Blair in college. Her treats were so popular that a couple dozen did not suffice, so she kindly began to send a couple hundred in her care packages. Whether baking for dorm friends or dear family members, Jo Ruder’s kitchen always smelled of fresh baked bread, pies or homemade donut holes. A visit to her kitchen always left one thinking “Yum!,” and her quick jokes and bright laugh always made the day’s burdens disappear.

Always a caring and generous woman, Jo Ruder was beautiful and classy in every respect. She will be missed dearly. No public service is planned at this time.


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