Ruth Blanche (Dye) Pope


Longtime Bayfield resident, Ruth Blanche (Dye) Pope, died April 13, 2023, at Mercy Hospice House in Durango, Colo. She was 77 years old. 

Ruth was born in 1946 in Ansley, Neb., a tiny town in the Nebraska Sandhills. One of nine children, Ruth learned at an early age how to care for others and how to be creative and resourceful. She shared stories of her father’s substantial garden that helped to feed their large family, and of the hard work her mother did to keep everyone fed and clothed.

Following the death of her mother when Ruth was just a young girl, she helped to care for her two younger siblings. When her father also died a few years later, the younger kids were taken in by their older siblings.

Ruth eventually went to live with her older sister and brother-in-law, Doris and Rod Golden. Following her graduation from high school in Lexington, Neb., in 1964, Rod took a job with San Luis Valley Rural Electric Cooperative in Monte Vista, Colo., where Ruth’s older brother, Orville Dye, worked and lived with his family.

Rod and Doris moved their family to Monte Vista, taking Ruth with them. Within a few months of living in Monte Vista, Ruth met Gary Pope of Sargent, Colo., on a blind date to the Ski-Hi Stampede dance. The couple fell in love and married five months later, Dec. 17, 1964, in a small ceremony at the home of Orville and Alice Dye. In the following 8 years the couple had three daughters: Kyla in 1965, Mindy in 1969 and Ashli in 1971.

In 1974, Ruth and Gary, who worked for Public Service, moved their family from Monte Vista to Salida. It was while they lived in Salida that Ruth and Gary accepted Christ and became active in the church. The family spent 3 years in Salida and 1 year in Silverthorne before returning to Monte Vista, where their daughters finished school and left the home, and where the couple remained until 1993.

Gary was then transferred to Durango, and the couple settled in Bayfield. Ruth was a loyal and faithful wife and mother for 58 years. Throughout her life, Ruth was a loving mother, caregiver and homemaker, and worked at elementary school lunchrooms in both Monte Vista and Bayfield. She also cared for and helped raise many of her grandchildren. She was active in the church and at the local senior center and loved being outdoors and going to the “hills” to camp and fish or just to take a drive. She was an outstanding photographer and enjoyed watching wildlife in their natural habitat, but also watching the wild deer and variety of birds, especially hummingbirds, that frequented their back yard. She was an avid scrapbooker and, at the time of her death, was working to complete a beautiful family history project to keep memories alive.

Family was everything to her. She was fascinated by her family’s stories and genealogy and was instrumental in organizing family reunions for decades. She was also a talented crafter and over the years enjoyed making things with her hands. She also enjoyed gardening and playing card and board games. Ruth adored people and people adored her. She made and maintained lifelong friendships and was well loved by neighbors and the people in her community. She had a strong work ethic, a great sense of humor and a loving and generous heart. She also fiercely loved the Lord and was a faithful, God-fearing woman.

Ruth is survived by her husband, Gary Pope of Bayfield, daughter and son-in-law Kyla and Richard Dubberstein of Phoenix, Ariz., daughters Mindy Blazer of Denver and Ashli Pope of Ignacio; grandchildren Logan Blazer and Diana Watson of Littleton, Hayden and Andrew Peterson of Colorado Springs, Lydia and Ben Culhane of Phoenix, Ore., Josiah Woody of Ignacio and Grace Smith of Ignacio. She is also survived by her sisters Doris Golden of Monte Vista, Mary Halsted of Columbus, Neb., brother and sister-in-law Clarence (Junior) and Patsy Dye of Greeley, brother and sister-in-law Lyle and Sandy Dye of Monte Vista, sister and brother-in-law Ella and Art Porter of Smith Center, Kan., sister-in-law Alice Gibson of Monte Vista, and many nieces and nephews.

Waiting for her at Heaven’s gates are her parents Lydia Almeda and Clarence Dye of Nebraska, her brother Orville Dye of Monte Vista, brother and sister-in-law Louis and Madeline Dye of Broken Bow, Neb., sister and brother-in-law Margaret and Lyle (Skeeter) Smith of Hazard, Neb., brothers-in-law Rod Golden and Bill Gibson of Monte Vista and grandson Karl Beaman, Jr. of Denver.

A service will be held 11 a.m. on Friday, May 5, at Rogers Family Mortuary in Monte Vista, Colo. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ruth’s name to Regeneration Reservation at or Sansum Diabetes Research Institute at

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