Alta Johnson
Alta Johnson
June 10, 2014 at sunset, a ladder of sunlight broke through the clouds as our wife and matriarch Alta Ruth Cooper Watts Johnson was at long last greeted by her many ancestors. The haloed moon to the east and lightning in the west, proved to us, she had arrived.

She was born Sept. 10, 1927 in Stuttgart, Ark., to Calvin Everett and Daisy Lee Gibbs Cooper.

'Ruth', as she was known, spent her childhood in Monroe, La., Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Richmond, Calif. Once out west, Ruth married Donald Ira Watts of Winnemucca. There she raised her three daughters. While in Winnemucca, she was involved in the Winnemucca Grammar School PTA and was a 4-H leader who taught sewing. She was also employed as a long distance telephone operator for Nevada Bell and as a receptionist for Dr. Lighthouse, OD.

In 1967 she moved to Carson City, Nev., where she met her husband of 47 years, Marine Master Sergeant Robert (Bob)

L. Johnson. Under the ruse that Bob was a professional golfer, she went on a blind date with him. She won the golf game that day which led Bob to quip, "You would make a suitable wife for a Marine Corp Master Sergeant." They were married the following Dec. 15 and she pulled rank ever since.

During the 47 years that Ruth and Bob were married, they lived in Las Vegas, Winnemucca, Sparks, Reno and Fallon, Nev.

She was employed over those years at the DRI (University of Nevada Reno), University of Nevada Reno Medical School, and Washoe County School District. For the last 20 years, she and Bob enjoyed life as grandparents in Fallon, Nev.

Her passion and calling was to be a loving wife and daughter, sister and mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She ruled with an old fashioned sense of values; a strong voice and whistle, determined character, and most of all an extremely loving heart. During her role as matriarch of the family, she endowed her daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters with her strength and strong character.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Everett Lee Cooper, Albert Clarence Cooper, John Thomas Cooper, sister in-law Carol Cooper, sister Patricia June Cooper Locke, brother-in-law Lee D. Locke, baby boy Watts, and nephew Dennis Lee Locke.

She is survived by her husband of 47 years, Bob, daughters Donna Gini Cooper-Watts, Patti Watts Adams Gross King (Don) of Fallon, Nev., Kati Watts Rimington Santiago (Mariano) of Salt Lake City, Utah, granddaughters Brandi Adams Hicks Hatfield (Paul) of Myrtle Creek, Ore,, Chariti Rimington of Seattle, Wash., Roxann Adams White (Travis) of Fallon, Nev., great-granddaughters Kayetlynn and Gabriell Hicks, Fiona White, great-great-granddaughter MiaKoda Hicks all of Fallon, Nev., nephews Kyle (Karen) Locke of Winnemucca, Nev., and Lenny (Deborah) Locke of Queens City, Ariz.

The family would like to thank the many caregivers and medical professionals who helped care for Ruth after her third stroke. Over the last 11 years, Steve Woodhouse, P.T, Jenny Yohey, Carol Klass, Lanette Anderson, Heather Parker, Billie, Emily, Amanda and many others provided Ruth with comfort and care during her final days.