Ruth Clem-Quesenberry

August 22, 2013 • Obituaries

Ruth-Clem-QuesenberryFuneral services will be held for Ruth Clem-Quesenberry, 91, of Roswell, at 1 p.m. Thursday, August 22, 2013, at Gateway Church followed by a graveside at 3:30 p.m. at Twin Oaks Cemetery in Artesia, NM.

Ruth passed away on Monday, August 19, 2013.

Vada Ruth Coleman was born to Rosa and Loyd “Doc” Coleman in Coryell County, of Texas, on October 19, 1921.

She spent her early years surviving the Great Depression on the Coleman homestead in Levita, Texas, before the family hit the road to follow Doc as he worked the Texas oil fields.

Ruth, along with her sister, Florene, and their parents, [auth] lived many years in a large military-style tent before they went “big time,” building a 19-foot travel trailer to continue their travels through west Texas and southeastern New Mexico.

The family lived for a time in Artesia, New Mexico, where Ruth met and married Howard Dee “Jack” Clem just before the beginning of World War II. The faithful wife followed her husband from base to base during his training until he was shipped out to serve as a SeaBee in the Pacific front. Upon his return at the end of the war, Ruth and Jack settled in Artesia, where she worked side-by-side with him as they established Clem Plumbing, opened Artesia’s first Firestone Store and brought Culligan Soft Water to the area; all while she raised three children and led many community groups. The couple was on the move once more, this time to Portales, New Mexico, after their youngest child graduated from high school. They briefly lived in Tucumcari, New Mexico, before Jack retired and the two re-settled in Roswell, New Mexico.

After her husband’s death in 1979, Ruth filled her time with grandchildren, singing tenor in a senior citizen quartet and strumming the ukulele until she met Don Quesenberry during a church service where, much to her surprise, Cupid struck again. The octogenarians shared a love for travel, so when Don asked Ruth if she’d prefer a wedding ring or a trip to Hawaii to celebrate their marriage, Ruth shouted for him to buy the tickets and she notified her children with a poem by email of the upcoming wedding, as she packed for ten days on sunny shores.

Ruth and Don continued with many travel adventures over the following years until diminishing health grounded them. Then, on Monday evening, August 19, 2013, Ruth quietly took her final journey from this Earth to the arms of the Savior she both loved and served. Ruth leaves behind her husband of ten years, Don Quesenberry, along with her children: Dekka Ruth House and her husband, Joseph House, Vicki Lee Shaw and her husband, Dewayne Shaw, and Lloyd Burr Clem and his wife, Bee J Clem. Ruth’s grandchildren include: Todd House and his wife, Geneva, Susan House, Amy D. Shaw-Jackson and her husband, Tripp, as well as Farrell Clem and his wife, Sue, and Shelley Bristow and her husband, Randy. She also enjoyed seven great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

Please take a moment to share your thoughts and memories with the family in the online registry book at

Services are under the direction of Anderson-Bethany Funeral and Crematory.

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