Ruth R. Kimsey, age 76, passed away peacefully on August 22, with her family by her side. She loved Jesus and believed joyfully in his promise: “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelations 21:4).
Ruth was born on November 5, 1944, in East St. Louis, Illinois, to James and Josephine Matthews. Her family lived in California and Arizona for most of her childhood; one of her fondest memories was her time spent at the Children’s Country School in Los Gatos. She and her brother, Jim, older by two years, were close throughout their growing-up years and maintained a lifetime bond.
While attending Scottsdale High School, she was selected by the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce to join the Howdy Dudettes, the city’s official welcoming committee and goodwill ambassadors.
Ruth worked in the hotel industry and as an executive secretary. She met her husband, Gary, in Phoenix in 1967, when a friend of his introduced them, telling Gary that he had found the woman Gary had been looking for all his life. The friend was right, and Ruth and Gary married one year later.
They moved to California, and their daughter, Stacey, was born in 1973. Ruth was a devoted homemaker and mom, as well as an active school volunteer and Mary Kay Cosmetics skincare consultant.
Beautiful inside and out, Ruth always had a heart for taking care of others, including her stepdaughter, Kimberly, and her mother, Jo, whom she cared for in their home through a long illness. Many others were welcomed into their home over the years, including several international exchange students from Japan. She warmly hosted friends and family members for home-cooked meals, game nights, Bible studies, and a slice of her famous key lime pie.
Throughout nearly 53 years of marriage, Ruth and Gary enjoyed travels in the U.S. and around the world, visiting 36 states and 16 countries together. They especially loved driving along the California and Oregon coasts; viewing lighthouses and fall foliage in New England; visiting national parks such as Yosemite, Sequoia, Yellowstone, Zion, and Bryce Canyon; riding the rails across Canada; and vacationing in special places like Monterey, Sedona, Hawaii, and Puerto Vallarta.
Following Gary’s retirement, they moved to San Clemente in 1999, and then in 2016 moved to the Maravilla senior living community in Santa Barbara in order to be closer to Stacey and her husband, Ray. Ruth loved the ocean, and she and Gary could often be found having lunch at the harbor or pier, watching sailboats and listening to the waves roll in.
Ruth was actively involved at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, Ocean Hills Community Church and Calvary Chapel in San Juan Capistrano, and Calvary Chapel and Anthem Chapel in Santa Barbara. Known for her warm and ready smile, her generous spirit, and her deep and abiding faith, she was a mentor to many, and an encourager to all.
She will be forever remembered and greatly missed by her husband, Gary; their daughter and son-in-law Stacey and Ray Janik; their son-in-law Mark Culver; their two grandchildren, Alexis and Samuel Culver; her brother and his wife, Jim and Gail Matthews; as well as nieces, nephews, cousins, and many dear friends. She was preceded in death by her stepdaughter, Kimberly Culver.