Ruth Elaine Beck Timms, 92, passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 28, 2013, with her family and friends present at her bedside.
Ruth was born in Deer Lodge on June 13, 1920, to Mark and Calla Belle Perrin, and spent much of her childhood growing up there. At the age of 6 years, her mother’s death brought big changes into her young life, having her older sister, Dorothy, assuming the mother role. Ruth, because of complexities of a poor economy and financial hardships, moved about, living with several foster parents until her high school graduation. The opportunity came to attend Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa, where she received a degree in elementary education. She then returned to Montana to begin teaching in a one-room schoolhouse in Garrison. A few years later, she met Glenn Beck from Anaconda, married and settled in Butte. There, the couple began raising two wonderful children: Tom and Dottie.
After six years, Glenn accepted a position with Carpenter Paper Company in Billings, and moved the family there, where they spent most of their adult lives. The family was devoted and active in church work, and the Community of Christ was central to family life. Ruth’s interest in youth work led her to be a founder of her church’s youth camp program for the Intermountain Region in the ’50s. She directed its operations for nearly 28 years in many capacities. As a camp director, campfire leader and counselor, she touched many lives with her special ministry. In 1976, she began working in Women’s leadership roles for the church and served on the World Church Women’s Commission for 10 years. She also, in conjunction with her church work, continued her teaching career to help with the financial needs of putting two kids through college. For 14 years, she worked at the local YMCA Kindergarten Program. Her marital status changed in the late ’80s, so she pursued a new course in life by moving to be with her lifelong friends in Independence, Mo. There, she met William Timms, an apostle in the church, and married again in 1993.
Ruth had several interests besides her church work. She excelled as a landscape oil painter and enjoyed gardening, traveling, cooking, family time playing cards and games, and just relaxing around a fireplace or a campfire. Ruth, in her own words, said: “My life has been richly endowed with many blessings and I am grateful for the opportunities that have come to me to share in the lives of so many people.”
Survivors include her son, Tom Beck, from Loveland, Colo.; daughter Dottie Beck, Billings; her beloved niece, Cathy Wilson, Deer Lodge; sister-in-law, Pat Beck, Butte; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to thank the loving care provided by the Sweetwater Retirement Community and the staff at Canyon Creek Memory Care during the last few months of her life.
A graveside service will be held at the Deer Lodge Cemetery at 3 p.m. Thursday, May 2. A remembrance and celebration service is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday, May 4, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary in Billings.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Outreach International, 129 W. Lexington, PO Box 210, Independence, MO 64050