Ruth Sylvia Grossman (née Tarkoff) passed away June 7, 2021 in the city she loved. A Denver native, Ruth was born March 1, 1929 to Harry and Lillian Tarkoff. She graduated from East High School and the University of Iowa before earning her teaching degree. While fondly remembered by her many 4th grade students as Mrs. Grossman, Ruth also kept in close touch with her fellow RATS – teachers she shared many years alongside.
After marrying Eugene Leonard Grossman in 1952, she never lacked for adventure. Together, they shared their lives with three kids: Dan (Pam), Dusty (Eric), and Chuck, alongside many (spoiled) family beagles. Ruth always strived to be “the person her dogs thought she was.” Eventually, she was joined in those adventures by grandkids Heidi (Arnie), Erica (Brad), Austin (Shelly), Ian (Stacy), and Tanner, and a cherished great-granddaughter, Edie. All of her grandchildren know and lovingly refer to her as Meme.
Though petite, Ruth’s personality was anything but. Lively, courageous, feisty, independent, and sharp are all words that come to mind to anyone who knew her. Ruth’s memory was stronger than an elephant’s, and her hearing made everyone jealous – especially when she heard things she was not supposed to. A true Coloradan, she joined Gene on winter wonderland ski trips across alpine slopes and cross-country trails. Together they hiked hills and traveled abroad, some with their close friends the Trumbo’s, including trips to Mexico and Europe, crossing borders and tracking down distant relatives in remote villages. They took a VW Bug on the back roads of Baja, a cruise to glaciers, and boat rides down canals and rivers.
Ruth’s creative skills and hobbies were many, and her creations can be found on the walls of loved ones. She knit sweaters, crafted macramé, and created fine needlework pieces – ”I Love My Husband, But Damn That Boat” was a framed piece of Ruth’s art hung proudly on display at the Willow Street home she shared with the family for decades. She loved to play bridge, often hosting members of her bridge club with enthusiasm and many snacks. She swam miles at the neighborhood pool and put her green thumb to work in the garden. Her roses brightened the yard, while her tomatoes and basil plants took center stage in family meals. Ruth didn’t shy away from a new challenge, whether that was taking on a new hobby or saying yes to one of Gene’s impromptu ideas – even if it meant skiing through a blizzard.
It was on Willow Street that Ruth met wonderful friends, including Kathy Hougan and Karen Wilson. In their close-knit cul de sac, she hosted and joined in celebrations of new children and grandchildren, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and Denver Broncos football games. The conversations, gatherings and gestures of kindness turned these neighbors into lifelong friends. Over the years, Ruth’s Willow Street family was always a constant source of joy, companionship and support.
Ruth’s main gift was making people laugh. Her witty sense of humor always elicited a chuckle, when you could see a twinkling in her eye and a dimple in her cheek. Even in her last days, she’d get a laugh out of her caregivers from Castle Pines Home Care, Home Care Assistance of Douglas County as well as the wonderful caregivers at Sunrise Senior Living who treated her with love, patience and respect.
Ruth will be missed and cherished by all who knew and loved her. Mom, Meme, friend – your spirit lives on with us.
A Celebration of Life will be held at
Hunter Hill Pool
7235 S Xanthia St
Centennial CO 80112
4-7 pm Open House
Dan Grossman’s phone #303-779-0066
Donations in memory of Ruth may be made to Denver Children’s Hospital or charity of your choice.
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