Ruth was born July 27, 1926, in Cody, Wyoming, to Lillian Elsbury and Walter Alexander. She has one older brother, Don.
Ruth spent her early childhood years on Elk Creek in Sunlight Basin with her parents. She attended the Sunlight Basin school. She also attended Cody High School.
At the young age of 15, Ruth met Oral Riley. They were married Aug. 30, 1941, in Red Lodge, Montana. When they were first married, they lived in Cody. They later moved to Basin, and lived there from 1945-1963.
They had five children: Darrell Eugene, Martha, Walter, Larry, and Mike. In 1963 the family moved back to Cody. Oral died in a car wreck in 1970.
Ruth met and married McKay Avery Nov. 19, 1971, in Cody, Wyoming. They were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple Jan. 23, 1980. Ruth and McKay lived on a farm at Heart Mountain until 1982. They sold the farm, and made their home in Cody. McKay and Ruth spent many years traveling, square dancing and serving the community.
From a young age, Ruth was taught the value of work. She had many jobs including cleaning homes, the medical center, and caretaker for elderly people.
Ruth was a member of various community organizations throughout the years. She was President of the Square Dance Club, President and secretary of the VFW women‘s auxiliary, President of Historical Society, member of the 59ers’s rock club, President of AARP, and Handy-hands member. She helped at the Senior Citizens Center and delivered Meals on Wheels. She was also a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Ruth is survived by brother Don (Gert) Alexander of Cody; children: Martha Knutson of Cody, Walter Riley (Shirley Steadman) of Vancouver, Washington, Larry (Kathy) Riley of Powell, and Mike (Norma) Riley of Meeteetse; grandchildren: David (Candi) Lott of West Jordan, Utah, Deanne Weyland of Cody, Richard Lott of West Jordan, Janette Brown of Hooper, Utah, Deborah Riley of Casper, Alvin Riley of Torrington, Brian Riley of Cody, Melanie Riley serving LDS mission in McAllen, Texas, Brent Riley of Rexburg, Idaho, and Larissa Riley of Meeteetse; 15 great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchildren, and nephews, and nieces. Ruth is also survived by McKay’s children, Carol (Keith) Brimhall of Cowley, Linda (Bruce) Childs of Alpine, Utah, and Lorna (Jim) Bunting of Penryn, California.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husbands Oral, McKay, son Darrell, grandson Matthew, and McKay’s son Ivan.
Funeral services for Ruth will be Thursday, Nov. 16, at the LDS Stake Center in Cody, Wyoming, at 2 p.m. Viewing at 1 p.m. Burial will follow at Riverside Cemetery in Cody.
Online condolences for the family may be made at www.thompsonfuneral.net.