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Ruby Tatum - November 30, 2010


Ruby May (Walgren) Tatum, 97, died Nov. 30, 2010, in Tucson, Ariz. She was a resident of the Desert Haven Adult Care Home.
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 6 at the United Methodist Church in Julesburg, Colo., with Pastor Art Roth officiating. Burial followed in Hillside Cemetery.
Ruby was born Dec. 18, 1912, in Clay County, Nebraska, to Axel Woodie Walgren and Vella Virginia (Furry) Walgren. The family also included an older brother, Leslie Cleo; older sister, Mabel Delcenia and a younger sister, Dorothy Frances.
Ruby was baptized June 18, 1913, at the home of her grandfather, Peter Carlson.
The family moved to a homestead in Dundy County, Nebraska, in 1915. The children all attended rural school, District 17, in Dundy County through the eighth grade. The homestead was 12 miles south of Wauneta, Neb.
Ruby spent 40 years there and was a member of Mt. Zion Methodist Church. She married Harry E. Tatum on Aug. 20, 1930, in Benkleman, Neb. They were farmers who struggled through the dust bowl years and the depression.
Ruby’s family were musicians and they had their own orchestra. They played for dances on the weekends to supplement their income. Ruby played fiddle and banjo mandolin in the band. Music was her lifelong avocation.
Ruby and Harry became the parents of identical twin boys, Loren Dale and Larry Gene, on Feb. 23, 1935. Then, July 1, 1942, Peggy Ann was born and two years later, Aug. 4, 1944, their family was completed when Jon Paul was born.
When Ruby’s parents retired from farming in 1943, she and Harry took over the farming operations at the homestead.
In 1955 the family moved to Julesburg, Colo., where they operated Tatum’s Red and White Grocery. The whole family helped in the store. Later Ruby worked at the AG Grocery, Spear’s Drug, and then as receptionist for Dr. Lundgren for many years.
She was a longtime member of the Julesburg Methodist Church, singing in the choir, singing for weddings and funerals, teaching Sunday School and serving on committees and in the women’s organization.
When Ruby and Harry retired they purchased a two-story home in Julesburg. They enjoyed entertaining and having their growing family visit them. In retirement, Ruby again began to entertain, playing the fiddle at civic events, fiddle contests, birthday celebrations, and at church services.
Ruby and Harry loved to travel and visited most of the United States by automobile. Ruby particularly liked flying to Sitka, Alaska, to visit Jon and his family. They were also frequent visitors to Branson, Mo. Ruby cruised the Hawaiian Islands with her friend Sally Gerber.
In 1998 Ruby moved to the Jacob J. and Anne B. Walter Memorial Living Center in Julesburg. She was one of the first residents of this wonderful home. In November, 2010, she moved to Tucson to be near her daughter, Peggy.
Ruby was preceded in death by her husband, Harry, in 1987. She is survived by her sons, Loren (Linda) of Casa Grande, Ariz., Larry (Laurain) of Minden, Neb., Jon (Kathy) of Julesburg, Colo., and her daughter, Peggy (Dale Free) of Tucson, Ariz. She is also survived by her sister, Dorothy (Robert) Baumfalk. Ruby’s grandchildren are Michael Tatum, Mark Tatum, Susan Tatum, Melinda Neal, Mary Tatum, Diane Tatum, Becky Edgar, Cindy Kostek, Laurie Perez, Steven Tatum, Kenneth Austin, Shelly Hoover and Jennifer Grant. Also surviving are 26 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren, several step-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Memorials can be made in Ruby’s name to the Jacob J. and Anne B. Walter Memorial Assisted Living Center c/o Kayte Mollendor 900 Pine St Julesburg, CO 80737.
Austin-Tennant Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.