Ruby Kathryn Snyder Coulter
December 23, 1906
Ruby Kathryn Snyder Coulter was born Dec. 23, 1906, in Hillsdale County, Mich., to Reuben “Clyde” Snyder and Grace Bell Bohner Snyder. She was the first of six children.
Clyde’s family had a prosperous farm in Michigan. When Ruby was 4 years old, they moved “out west” to accommodate Clyde’s father’s and brother’s health. The small but growing family homesteaded in Cheyenne County, Colo., near Arapahoe, Colo. In 1924, Ruby moved with her family to “greener pastures” — Antlers, Colo., — where Clyde and Grace bought a farm and general merchandise store with a post office. Grace worked right beside her husband, running the store and had the distinction to be the first postmistress in the United States. Grace and Clyde retired to Rifle, Colo., and later finished their lives in Golden, Colo.
Ruby was graduated from Rifle Union High School shortly after the move to Antlers. She married Harlen Samuel Coulter Nov. 11, 1926, in Golden , Colo.
When first married their home was in Antlers (near Silt) where they lived in the winter and homesteaded in the Rifle Creek area during the summer (which they named Coulter Mesa). Harlen raised lettuce and potatoes during the summer months on Coulter Mesa.
In 1930, Ruby and Harlen purchased the Princess Theatre in Meeker, Colo., which they operated as the Rio Theatre for the next 15 years. They brought the first talking pictures to Meeker. Harlen also served as the mayor of Meeker for six years.
In 1945, they purchased a stock and dairy ranch in Plateau Valley near Collbran, Colo. They operated the ranch for a number of years until Harlen was forced to sell due to a ranching injury.
In 1950, they purchased property west of Rifle, Colo., where they built the Coulter Trailer Park and duplex apartments. They sold the trailer park and apartments and retired in Meeker in 1976, where they spent their summers and were snowbirds in Mesa, Ariz., in the winter.
In 1981, due to Harlen’s health, they moved to Mesa, Ariz., as full-time residents. Ruby loved Arizona with beautiful cactus, wild flowers, quail, rabbits and abundant sunshine and warmth. She did the first of many oil paintings around the age of 76. Ruby continued to crochet afghans and all types of sewing until arthritis made it impossible. She loved keeping her hands and mind busy.
After losing Harlen, she moved to Tucson for a couple of years, moved back to Mesa for a few years, then moved to Grand Junction to be closer to family.
She was a very dedicated devout Christian. She loved her Bible and studied it daily. She always said it was her favorite book. Her faith and hope in the resurrection of the dead held firm to the end. Ruby has looked forward to meeting Jesus “face to face” for many years. May we find joy in her faith; that she is at rest and peace with her savior now and that we will all see her again.
Ruby took great joy in her large family and her legacy will live on. She is survived by a son, Gary and (Relda) of Meeker, Colo.; daughter, LaWana and (Drew) Dickey of Clifton, Colo.; brother, Victor Snyder of Pearland, Texas; and sister, Elizabeth (Betty) Snyder and (Jack) McDonald of Golden, Colo. She has 11 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren and three great great-grandchildren. Ruby also leaves behind many friends and a loving extended family.
Preceding her in death, husband Harlen, son Gordon Coulter and brothers Guy Snyder, Edgar Snyder and Royal Snyder.
Ruby was able to see the new century in and almost lived through the entire tumultuous and amazing 20th century, only missing the first six years. She remained surprisingly healthy and vigorous through her 101 and one-half years of life — witnessing two world wars, a depression, the cold war, the space race and finally the Middle East crisis. She experienced the “Roaring ‘20s,” the revolutionary ‘60s and lived through a lifetime of changes that began as a quiet, isolated life on the prairie to a world “globalized.” Ruby was born just three years after, almost to the date, of the Wright Brother’s historic first flight of a manned airplane and over a half a century later, watched on TV as man walked on the moon.
One more note, her last Mother’s Day was spent by the Colorado River enjoying her favorite meal — a bologna sandwich.
Ruby Kathryn Snyder Coulter