Ruth M. Lightfoot, age 93 of Sparks, Nevada, died at her home on March 28, 2022 surrounded by her family. She was born in Pioche, Nevada on January 30, 1929 to George Calvin McMurray and Marie Anne Donohue McMurray. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Frank George McMurray, and her husband Donald Lyman Lightfoot who passed 26 years ago. Surviving are her sisters Anna Vilate Haug (Phillip) of Virginia Beach, Virginia and Donna Mattich (Mitch) of Carson City, Nevada.
She is also survived by her children, D. Kenneth (Jude) of Sparks, Nevada; Bruce (Lisa) of Reno, Nevada; Teresa (Larry) Lear of West Covina, California; Kathy (Kim) Murillo of Hillsboro, Oregon; Colleen (Dan) Hawkins of Sparks, Nevada; and Keith of Sparks, Nevada. She is also survived by 16 grandchildren, and 17 great grandchildren along with numerous nieces and nephews.
She grew up in Pioche and spent much of her childhood summers at her mother’s family’s remote ranch in Camp Valley, some 50 miles northeast of Pioche. The ranch had no indoor plumbing, or electricity. She attended elementary and middle school in Pioche as well as Lincoln County High School in Panaca, where she played clarinet in the band and was the 1947 graduating class valedictorian.
She attended the University of Nevada on an academic scholarship endowed by Harolds Club. She excelled in math and was one of the first women admitted to the University’s School of Engineering. At the university she met Don Lightfoot, a WWII combat veteran. They married and established a home in Sparks where they raised their six children.
She was very involved in her childrens’ school activities including PTA, and Jacks Carnival. She managed the family business for several years. She was a very active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and served several years in the parish vestry. For more than 20 years she was an officer in PEO, Chapter “I”, a women’s organization that supports women’s academics, and was instrumental in supporting and funding approximately 40 scholarships for young women.
Most of her summers were occupied at the family’s property near Tahoe City, herding children, reading, playing cards, accompanying children to the beach, while managing to avoid the very cold Tahoe water. She spent many hours entertaining and tutoring her grandchildren in the fine art of baking and cooking.
A memorial service is planned for 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, 2022 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, located at 1135 12th Street (12th and Oddie Blvd.) in Sparks, NV. She will be cremated and interred with her husband at the parish columbarium. In lieu of flowers the family asks that you contribute to the St. Paul’s Memorial Fund, which will be applied to childrens and youth ministries.