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Ruth (Coleman) Popnaugh

February 12, 1926 ~ February 2, 2018 (age 91)

Ruth Coleman Popnaugh, 91, of Missouri City, Texas passed away on Friday, February 2, 2018.

Mrs. Popnaugh was born on February 12, 1926, in Oakwood, Freestone County, Texas to Bearie Rauls Coleman and T. J. Coleman, Senior.  Her parents moved to Floyd County, Texas, where she attended and graduated from high school in Floydada, Texas.

After graduation from Prairie View A&M College/University, Ruth moved to Amarillo, Texas, where she met and married Claude Popnaugh (Army Sergeant First Class), on March 7, 1949.  Both Ruth and Claude were members of Jenkins Chapel Baptist Church, in Amarillo, Texas.  His parents were the late Reverend and Mrs. J. W. Wade, pastor of Jenkins Chapel Baptist Church.  Having strong ties to military families, Ruth and Claude worshipped at military-based chapels, including the Kirtland Air Force Base Chapel, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

After completing first duty and several United States locations Army deployments, Ruth and her husband boarded the USNS General Alexander M. Patch (T-AP1221), on August 25, 1953, sailing from New York bound for the port of Bremerhaven, Germany.  This was the beginning of their overseas deployment that consisted of three years in Germany and six years in France.  She traveled extensively throughout major cities of interest in Europe, and especially France, immersing herself in its cultures and languages.  She learned to communicate fluently in French.  After 23 years of military service, her husband retired; and they moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Ruth remained in Albuquerque after her husband’s passing for over 53 years.

Ruth earned a Bachelor of Arts (Business and Economics) Degree from Prairie View A&M College/University, and completed graduate courses at the Trinity State University in Trenton, New Jersey, the Albuquerque University of New Mexico and the Albuquerque New Mexico Highland University.

Her professional portfolio includes teaching at Manheim AM Elementary School in Germany, Croix Chapeau American School and Ingrandes American Military School in France.  Ruth worked for over 25 years in the United States Federal Government, notably at the Department of Army (Pentagon), in Washington, D.C. and Albuquerque Kirtland AFB Personnel.

Ruth was past Matron of Mount Everest Chapter No. 3 Order of the Eastern Star, Prince Hall Affiliated, past State Grand Loyal Lady Ruler of New Mexico, past Loyal Lady Ruler of San Hedrin Assembly No. 69 Order of the Golden Circle Southern Jurisdiction and member of the Lila Dotson Phyllis Chapter of the Phylaxis Society PHA (Prince Hall Affiliated).

Ruth is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, three sisters, and three brothers.  Ruth’s life will be forever remembered and cherished by those who survive her, including her sisters, Pearl Cooper-Thompson, Bettye King and Evelyn Marie Jones; her brothers, Joe Coleman, Chester Coleman, Paul Coleman and Quinn Coleman; and a host of nieces, nephews, other family members and friends.

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