ex-guv’s wife, dies

Ruth Vanderhoof, the wife of former governor John Vanderhoof of Grand Junction, died Thursday, She was 84.

Although she often was referred to as a former first lady of Colorado, she actually wasn’t, her longtime husband said.

In 1973, when John Vanderhoof replaced Gov. John Love to take a post in President Richard Nixon’s administration, he was single, the 90-year-old said Friday.

Though Vanderhoof served for more than 20 years in the Colorado House, he only was governor for 18 months, leaving in 1975.

He didn’t meet Ruth until two years later.

“She was a schoolteacher in Glenwood when I met her,” Vanderhoof said. “I had started a sporting goods store there.”

Vanderhoof said Ruth, who was his second wife, was raising four children on her own at the time.

He had two children with his first wife, who died before he became governor.

While Ruth Vanderhoof never served in politics herself, she was active in Club 20 and was always aware of what was happening locally and in Denver, the former governor said.

“She was a tough gal, but I finally lost her,” he said. “She was the sweetest person in the world, and she got me out of a lot of scrapes.”


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