Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Ruth Phillips

Ruth Phillips, 93, of Kimball, died at Kimball Health Services on Monday, May 20, 2024. Mass of Christian Burial was held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 25, 2024 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Kimball with Father Robert Karnish officiating. Burial followed in the Kimball Cemetery. Friends called at the funeral home Friday from 2:00 until 7:00 p.m.. Christian Wake service was held at 7:00 p.m. on Friday following visitation at the funeral home.

Friends may also visit http://www.cantrellfh.com to share condolences and stories with the family. Memorials may be given in Ruth’s Memory in care of the family. The services for Ruth have been entrusted to the Cantrell Funeral Home.

Ruth Phillips was born to Virginia Fino and Max Rodriguez in Ault, Colorado, on January 23, 1931. She was the 3rd eldest of her siblings, a strong-willed young woman who made many sacrifices to take care of her loved ones. When she was young, her family moved from Colorado to Kimball, Nebraska, where she began to work on a potato farm.

Ruth was a woman of many talents. As a child, she was praised for her award-winning penmanship. She was also an excellent cook – people travelled far just to get a whiff of her famous tortillas.

She met Joaquin Flores in 1947 and they married in 1948. In this marriage, she gave birth to her 8 children. As a mother, Ruth enjoyed a good time, and would always say how much fun she had raising her children. Laughter was always heard in her household. She was a dedicated parent, attending all of her children’s school events as the loudest cheerleader in the crowd.

Ruth was a woman of strong faith, and she instilled her love for the Lord into her children. She never turned anyone away or let anyone leave hungry, especially so many of her children’s friends that she treated like her own. Whether or not you were actually hungry, you were always eating mole with tortillas and rhubarb cake, and so many other delicacies at Ruth’s house.

A jokester and an incredibly witty lady, Ruth was always making her friends and family members laugh. She loved to dance and was an impressive bowler. Through her love of bowling, she found Norman Phillips, who soon after became the love of her life. Ruth and Norman married on December 27, 1975, and she experienced many more adventures with him. They shared a wonderful love. When Norman passed in 1983, she never married again.

Ruth worked for George Risk Industries for many years, alongside housekeeping and other odd jobs while raising her children. She was awarded Mother of the Century on Farmers Day in the year 2000. She was not from money nor privilege, yet is nonetheless a true example of a life well lived. Ruth will be dearly missed by her many, many family members and Kimball neighbors who are all so lucky to have known her love for so long.

Ruth is survived by her twin brother Raymond Rodriguez (Cenia), brothers Lupe Rodriguez, and Estan Rodriguez (Clementina); sisters Mary Melchor, Dolores Vigil, and Phyllis Salazar; and her children: Carmen Thulin, Richard Flores (Cathy), Felix Flores (Brenda), Geri Biberos (Albert), Alex Flores (Jolene), Helen Flores, Michael Flores (Linda), and Sara Flores (George). She is also survived by 20 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren.

Ruth is preceded in death by her husband Norman, her mother Virginia , father Max, and sister Cruzita Cabrera, brothers Jose Maria Rodriguez and Robert Fino, and brother in law Arturo Vigil and grandchildren Vicki Biberos Barret and Daniel Biberos.