In Memory

Michael Ruth

Michael Ruth

R. Michael Ruth ... 01/27/2002
The Salt Lake Tribune
Date: 01/27/2002 Edition: Final Section: Utah
Page: B7

R. Michael Ruth, 57, a longtime resident of Oakland,CA and formerly of Salt Lake City, passed away at his home on Jan 9, 2002 surrounded by family and friends.
He was born on Sept 23, 1944 in Milford, Utah to R. H. (Babe) and Meriam Steele Ruth. He attended Salt Lake City schools, graduating from Olympus High.

He served in the Peace Corps in India in the 60s. He graduated from the U of Wisconsin, and received his graduate degree from U of California at Berkeley. He was a gemologist, and for over 25 years, ran his own wholesale business out of an office in San Francisco. He had many business acquaintances in Salt Lake, as
well as other parts of the world.

As a lover of Jazz, he proudly shared a birthday with John Coltrane. He was an avid reader of history and poetry who loved fishing, writing, and the Oakland A's.Throughout his life, Michael had a special love for young people and was always there as their friend andsupport. Michael returned often to visit his family inSalt Lake, spending quality time with cherished nieces and nephews.

He will be missed by the many friends and relatives who loved him, including his wife, Sandra Tosto Ruth; and three children, Nicholas Ruth, Kristen Carlbon, Jennifer Carlbon Wood, and his son-in-law,Corey Wood. Also survived by a sister, Robin Harden, brother, Robert Babe Ruth both of Salt Lake; a brother, William Felt of Aumswille, OR; and his father, R. H.Ruth, of Port Angeles, WA.In his own words, "His greatest accomplishment is his son, Nick."

Services were held in Oakland, CA. Contributions may be made in Michael's name to the Young Musician's Program, 19 Morrison # 1204, U of California, Berkeley,
CA 94720-1204.




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01/18/13 08:57 AM #1    

Ronald Scott

And, What About Mike?

By: RB Scott
NOTE: The following is an excerpt from a short story "Too Well Remembered" (2003) that has been adapted for the  forthcoming  novel: The Mending: A life too well remembered
He asked after Mike. “Do you see him often?"
“Lived couple of blocks from Mike’s house. Played golf together on an off. Drank beer. Talked. Our wives were quite friendly," Paul said. "But, I’m surprised you don’t know, Mike died of colon cancer earlier this year.”
He gasped. A long silence followed. He didn’t know what to say. Too late again. Shit! Double shit! The good die young. He feels the heat from His father’s laser eyes, locked-on and loaded, ready to fire at a moment’s notice.
The two of them -- Buck too -- had taught him more about golf and life and kindness than He thought He could ever learn in a million years from ten people. Sure, He had been a little pissed when Paul wandered off to that snotty frat house freshman year. He had turned more to Mike, especially after Buck found a frat house of his own Spring term.
They had become nine-ball pool hustlers (fives and nines wild, chump change only), drenching double-or-nothing, quarter a game, rolling balance sheet Ping Pong combatants. When He had departed on a mission, Mike paid off the cumulative balance due: a whopping two dollars and seventy-give cents.
Perhaps feeling abandoned by everyone, after sophomore year Mike followed a different road to India for two years with the Peace Corps then on to Wisconsin to finish school; followed by Berkeley for grad school.
And, then somewhere in between Salt Lake and Madison and Manhattan and Berkeley and San Francisco and Boston the ties went slack. Mike had come to New York years ago; phoned for a date; the calendar had been chock full-up with being busy, successful – work, marriage, the kids and work -- Him bursting with the kind of haughty arrogance that almost always results from early professional success (who knows why?). Mike understood. The ties untied, the phone lines turned silent
Just as everything was about to be resurrected, humility rediscovered (brought down a few pegs by life) death had postponed this neglected friendship until the resurrection. Mike was gone. There was not even a chance to say thanks, and goodbye. Damnit to hell.
Paul consoled. “Look, we talked about you often. We both missed you. Wondered what had become of you in Big City, and now Boston. The phones work both ways. We could have called. It would have been easy. Should have been easy. But we didn’t. Mike sensed you wanted space between you and the past. He understood. I certainly did.”
Was it a half-truth, a whole lie? The truth—the whole truth: —he never, ever, not once tired of their companionship: Paul, Buck, Mike, or DJ too, for that matter. It wasn’t that he was gay or anything, or maybe everyone is gay up to a point. Who knows? It was the many connections: from sports to music to literature to poker to women.
They strengthened, built confidence; praised his brain, his musicality, chided when He deliberately dumbed himself down. They taught him golf, poker and watery beer drinking. Challenged him in basketball, Ping Pong and pool. He introduced Paul and Buck to the women they married. Figured the three of them would find the perfect match for Mike. He counted on them being soul mates, better than family from then on in.
As usual, his follow through had been plain lousy. He could have kept in touch, easily. He had every reason to. He would never could replace them. Never. He refused to try!
Now Paul and Buck and DJ too, but not Mike, were coming to the reunion to see him. And, each other too. It brought tears to his eyes. Was he gay?
“Obviously AC/DC” Annebury teased as she snuggled into him.


01/18/13 09:00 AM #2    

Ronald Scott

Earlier Story in The Tribune About MIKE RUTH


Published: 08/01/1993 Category: Sunday Features
Page: E6
Keywords: R.S.V.P., Staff Column
Photo/Graphic: Jump Page E3: Dana Richardson confers
on a possible gem purchase at fund-raiser with Family
Support Center director Jane Bebb.
Jump Page E3: Ed Rosenberger
Michael Ruth talks of gems, telling guest about quality
at benefit for the Family Support Center.


Byline: By Pat Capson

Maybe you can go home again. Michael Ruth did, and brought his gems with him. The``gem merchant extraordinaire,'' a 1963 graduate of Olympus High School, was in Salt Lake recently displaying rubies and sapphires from Thailand, emeralds and colored diamonds from India, and amethysts and aquamarines from Brazil.

Spectrum Gems and Redford Jewelers provided the setting (good word). Mr. Ruth donated a percentage of
sales to the Family Support Center.

Guests at an evening champagne and hors d'ouevres reception included center personnel Jane Bebb, with
husband Ernest, Kathy Cue and Judy Wright. Others sizing up the jewels were Tracy Overy and Mikel Covey;
Broc and Suzy Crookston; Michele Trowbridge; Fred and Emily Dremann; John and Madeline Harvey; Steve and Mary Rice, Morgan; Trish Wesson; and Shane and Michelle Record.

A coffee-and-pastries social next day attracted old friends of Mr. Ruth's like Lois Roth, Salt Lake, who
came with grandson Erik Roth, Port Townsend, Wash., and daughter-in-law Edie Logan and son Casey, Los Alamos, N.M. Laurel Dokos and David Griffith were ``seriously browsing.'' Salt Lake City police Officer Fred Ross (jewel in one ear) stood guard unobtrusively.

Mr. Ruth's love of things foreign began when he joined the Peace Corps in 1966 and was sent to
Chindwara in central India. ``We introduced modern techniques and high-production seeds to people who had
been farming for centuries,'' he said. Through Indian friends, tutors and books, he became fluent in the

Mr. Ruth returned to the United States, enrolled in the University of Wisconsin's Indian-studies program
and spent an academic year abroad at the University of Delhi. ``At that point in my life, I felt more
identification with India than with America,'' he added. Subsequent travel took Mr. Ruth to Pakistan,
where he learned Urdu and became fascinated with the gem-cutting industry, leading to a career as gem dealer.

Mr. Ruth lives and works in San Francisco, makes annual buying treks to exotic places, and sells his
treasures to stores in northern California and Utah

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