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Ruth “Kitty” Heard Taylor of Boulder City, NV, was born April 5, 1924 in Racine, Wisconsin to Russell and Lillian West and returned home to the Lord July 8, 2020 in Las Vegas, NV.
After graduation from Horlick High in Racine, she went to California and worked on aircraft for the war effort at Boeing. She was a member of the American Rosie the Riveters Association.
Ruth returned to Wisconsin to join the Navy in 1943, where she received further training as an aircraft instrument technician, receiving an AMM1 classification, and worked on aircraft installing and fine tuning gyroscopic instruments (directional finders, altimeters & bomb sights) inside the aircraft. She married her first husband, Richard V. Heard, while they were stationed in Florida. Upon their discharge from the service in 1945, they returned to Wisconsin where she worked as a lifeguard on Lake Michigan.
Ruth loved to swim and swam all her life. She especially loved distance swimming and would swim at least two miles a day in Lake Michigan and later, in Lake Mead. The Heard family moved to Boulder City in 1953 where Ruth obtained work with the Bureau of Reclamation as a life guard at Lake Mead. A World War II Navy veteran she had the privilege of participating in the Honor Flight to Washington DC to visit the memorials in 2015 accompanied by her granddaughter Mercy. She was mentioned in the book “National Parks and the Woman’s Voice” for her participation in an August 1955 rescue at Lake Mead for which she was flown to Washington DC to receive the Department of the Interior’s highest honor, the gold Distinguished Service Award.
Ruth was a private pilot and often flew with her second husband, John G. Taylor, also a veteran and private pilot. They were marathon runners, participating in events wherever they were living, including one iron man triathlon. Ruth returned to Boulder City in 1998 after John’s death.
Wherever she lived, Ruth was always active in her local church, American Legion Post and numerous other organizations. Ruth was very active in Grace Community Church. She also volunteered hundreds of hours at the Nevada State Veterans Home in Boulder City, and volunteered and entertained at the senior centers and convalescent homes in Henderson and Boulder City. Ruth served as Commander, Vice-Commander, Chaplain, Entertainment Director for American Legion Post 31 at different times through the years.
Ruth spent her entire life in service to others and enjoyed every moment of it. Many people especially knew her for her hugs and encouraging words. She was always looking for ways to brighten someone’s day. Her favorite sign off to texts was LOL, meaning to her, Lots of Love.
Ruth is survived, and will be deeply missed, by close friend and companion David Mulligan, brother-in-law Dennis(Lorraine) Groseclose, sister-in-law Sandy Taylor, cousin Diane Larrabee, son Terry(Eunice) Heard, daughters Bonnie Howard Savage, Peggy (Jesse) Goulart; Grandchildren Jerry(Amy) Heard, Mercy(Billy) Varela, Amy Jo Heard, Bryan Heard, Catherine(Todd) Nelson, Jesse (Shannon) Goulart, Jessette(Bill) Hockett, Wendy Carter, Jacob Gundaker, Johnny Gundaker; Steve (Linda) Sacco, Stacy(Dorothy) Sacco, Sally (Greg) Dorr, Aaron Sacco, and Cassandra Heard; Great Grandchildren Anthony, Alec, Mike, Jason, Marcus, Jeremy, Jonathan, Amanda, Derick, Meghan, Devin, Lucas (Lisa), Jeffrey, Corey, Tristen, Brooke, Sydney, Brycen, Lorne, Collin, Aiyana and Jhermie; Great-Great Grandchildren Athena and Lucas Jr.; many nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews and great grand nieces and nephews; Church & organization families; friends & neighbors all over the country.
Boulder City Family Mortuary handled arrangements. Services at Grace Community Church and the Southern Nevada Veterans Cemetery are pending. A celebration of life is being planned for April 5, 2021. In lieu of flowers, a donation of your time as a volunteer at, or a memoriam to, a Veteran’s Home, American Legion Post, or senior center is something she would have loved.
Hugs to everyone, LOL, Ruth “Kitty” Heard Taylor signing off with salutes to you all.
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