Ruth Ann Dolan was born November 17, 1915 in Duluth, MN, the third child of Alice Matilda Hawksworth and Alfred Leo Dolan. Ruth’s youth was spent in Superior, WI and Ely, MN.
Ruth’s mother was very talented, and introduced her children to the culture of symphonies, operas, plays, and literature at a young age.
Ruth was a teenager during the Depression. Her father, a plumber, lost his business and eventually the family home. The family had a hard time, often going without food. When she was 18, her mother died suddenly, and without her mother’s stability, the family struggled. Ruth’s older siblings left home and she undertook the responsibility of raising the three younger children.
Ruth worked nights at a fountain shop, attending college during the day. In the evening she cooked dinner and slept and did homework whenever she had a chance. She finished a teaching degree and taught one year in a one-room school house.
The war hit in 1941. Two younger brothers enlisted in the Navy, a younger sister married and Ruth joined an older sister in Salt Lake City, where she was employed as a quality-control supervisor at the Remington Ammunition Factory. She didn’t want to be a supervisor. She enjoyed the camarederie with her co-workers and felt it would be lost if she became the supervisor. But she accepted the position and the 2-cent per hour raise.
Ruth met Lee Afton Hyde through a blind date arranged by a co-worker from Monticello. For Thanksgiving 1942, Afton took Ruth to meet his family in Monticello, where the electricity was turned off at 6 p.m., they used outhouses, and everyone was Mormon. That was enough for her.
She returned to Salt Lake City, and Afton went to Portland to weld Liberty Ships. They were married in Monticello on June 23, 1943. Ruth’s first home was a tent at a uranium mine in San Juan County.
They had four children, Bill, Bonnie, Gerald and Betty Jo. When Betty Jo was in first grade, Ruth responded to repeated offers from the San Juan School District and returned to teaching. Having attended Catholic schools herself, she was a strict teacher, feeling strongly the responsibility of giving children a good start in reading and math. For 21 years, she taught half of the kids in Monticello.
Ruth supported Community Concerts, school plays and activities, instilling an appreciation in children and students of the finer things of life.
Ruth served on the Monticello City Zoning committee, helping establish zoning rules and regulations as Monticello grew from the small town she first came to through the bust of the uranium boom. She actively followed politics and legislation, attending lobby sessions on senior petitions, County Commission meetings and supported local programs. She was a regular for Senior Lunches, trips and activities.
Ruth was religious, gaining comfort from religion at the death of her mother. She was adamant that children should have religious upbringing. She took her children to church each week with their Grandma Hyde. She served as the Stake Young Women’s Secretary, magazine representative, name extractor, and visiting teacher even before she joined the Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints in 1968.
Ruth loved to travel. Each year she planned trips to visit family in Minnesota or California, with detours to national and state parks, points of interest or historical sites, teaching as they traveled. After retiring, she and Afton spent summers in Monticello, spring and fall in Arizona and winters in Mexico.
After Afton passed away, Ruth continued to travel. Betty Jo traveled frequently with her work and Ruth and Bonnie would often accompany her. They turned business trips to Reno, Sacramento, San Diego, Riverside, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Lake Havasu into girls nights out. They went to Hawaii in 1997.
In 2004, she went to live with Bonnie and her husband Kenny in Moab. Ruth took great pleasure beating Bonnie and Kenny at Rumi Cube and enjoyed teasing Kenny.
Her ninetieth birthday party was a cherished memory when so many drove from Monticello to celebrate with her. She was active and alert, enjoying visits and retaining her wit and memory to the end. She liked to say, “I am, after all, 92.”
She was taken swiftly, being hit with a severe stroke on June 5, and dying on June 7. Her family and friends will miss her, but are happy she is traveling again with Afton.
Ruth is proceeded in death by her husband Lee Afton Hyde and five siblings. She leaves behind children William Lee (Connie) Hyde, Gerald Edward (Ginger) Hyde, Bonnie Jean Hyde Black (Kenny) Hawks, and Betty Jo Hyde Mortensen (David) Bowler, 22 grandchildren, and 70 great grandchildren.
Card of thanks
The family of Ruth Ann Dolan Hyde would like to thank the many friends, family and neighbors for their kindness and care for our Mother through the years. We also thank you for the love and kindness extended to us, her children.
Mother had many loving friends, family, neighbors, special home and visiting teachers, Senior Center Staff and friends, co-workers and former students that made her life very enjoyable throughout the years. Thank you for being there for us all.
William and Connie Hyde
Bonnie and Kenny Hawks
Gerald and Ginger Hyde
David and Betty Jo Bowler