Ruth Marie Davies

Ruth Marie Davies was born on November 18th, 1923 to Jessie and Arthur Johnston of Englevale, Kansas.

She was raised by her father, who owned a general store in Englevale.  Her job was to tend the garden and later, when the coal mines played out and the depression years came, her dad would ask her to make up a batch of pancake batter, give her a list of chores, set off to mind the store and leave her with the instruction that if any homeless travelers came by looking for food, to give them a chore to do and feed them pancakes. Gardening and judging others by their worth and not their circumstances would become the cornerstones of her life.

In 1946 she became a widow with two small children when her first husband, Charles Kluska, died in a car accident. She met, was wooed by and married John J. Davies.  They shared their life together until his death in 2012.

In 1965 they bought and operated the first Topeka Baskin Robbins Ice Cream store, eventually owning two stores. They didn’t like the frozen eight-inch round cakes that the parent organization provided for cake and ice cream desserts, so Ruth baked her own, much to the olfactory delight of her visiting young grandchildren. Their fondest memories of this endeavor were giving opportunities to hundreds of teenagers to have their first jobs, and the lifelong friendships that resulted. 

In Ruth’s later years we marveled at the modest, but perfect, gifts she would choose for her great-grandchildren at Christmas.  They would be overwhelmed with toys and other gifts from family, but, at the end of the day, Ruth’s thoughtful gifts were the ones that they cherished.

Ruth quietly departed this world on Sunday, February 3, 2019 at the University of Kansas St. Francis Hospital, Topeka,  in the company of her family. She was preceded in death by her husband, John, and her great grandchild Jacob Hefley. Those who remain to cherish her memory include her son Roger (Pam) Kluska and daughter Marilyn Gayle (Dave) Parks of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas; sons Michael (Debbie Huske) Davies, David (Jan) Davies and Craig Davies of Topeka; 13 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren and special friends Joann, Robbie and Traci.

Her kindness and compassion towards her family and all those she encountered was unlimited and unqualified.  Her gift was to make everyone feel special and she recognized only the good in all things. She stayed active and lived independently until the end; to the point of preparing food for a Super Bowl get together the Saturday night before her passing.

A celebration of her life and internment at Mount Hope Cemetery next to her beloved John will occur in the spring time at a date to be determined by the family.  In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that contributions be made to the Ruth Davies Memorial at the Lohman United Methodist Church, 4000 Drury Lane, Topeka, Kansas 66604.

6 “Ruth Marie Davies

  1. Craig and I are so sorry for your great loss Dave and Janice. I know your mom will be greatly missed. We love you all and are praying for your whole family.

  2. Ruth and John Davies were two of the finest people I have ever known. I was privileged to be one of the hundreds of teenagers they gave a first job to at Baskin Robbins. I have always considered myself fortunate to have been able to work for and learn from them, and they were a continuance of the same values that were held in my parents home. Over the years I always delighted in exchanging cards with them, and seeing and speaking with them when possible. I will never forget a few years ago when they came out on a February evening with miserable weather to help me celebrate my 50th birthday. I was so honored. Their children are all a credit to them, and I offer my sincere condolences to the entire family. I know that you will all miss Mrs. Davies terribly. She and Mr. Davies are both such fine examples of lives well lived. I will always remember them with love.

  3. To Ruth’s family, I am very sorry for your loss. Ruth was a most patient and a very welcoming lady that I knew all my life. My opportunity to work for her and John was one of the better things that happened to me as a teenager. I’ll retain the many fond memories of them both. May you celebrate her life and ascension to our Lord in Heaven.

  4. Mrs. Davies was an absolutely wonderful woman and while I haven’t seen her in years, she has always been thought of dearly in my memories. She will continue to be that way as long as I live. She raised some great children. Mike, Dave, and Craig, I am so sorry for your loss. Working with her and you over the years, I thoroughly enjoyed my times there and you all are special to me as well. May all your happiest memories help sustain you and bring you peace knowing how much she meant to you and so many others over the years. Rest In Peace, Mrs. Davies. ❤️

  5. Knew Ruth when I was a kid and got to know her again in the 60’s when I delivered ice cream to their store. Great lady!! Truly enjoyed knowing her!

  6. Greg and I were saddened to learn the loss of Dani’s grandma Ruth. I marveled at her health and strength and it was apparent her family was so important to her. She was one go-getter. Our sincere condolences to Mike and Debbie, and the entire family. Greg and Amy Bulmer

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