Ruth I. Kolpin Rubison was born November 20, 1922 to Freda Weber and Arthur Weber at her Grandparents’ home, Leo and Maggie Agan, near Achilles, Kansas.
Ruth was second eldest of six children. Preceding her in death were three sisters, Loise, Nina, Della, and one brother, Lynn. One surviving brother, Darrel Weber, of Norton, Kansas.
In her early years, Ruth lived on a farm in northwestern Kansas. She loved to dream about growing up and becoming a businesswoman traveling on trains to distant cities, such as New York City.
Ruth married the late Peter A. Petersen in Colby, Kansas and to this union were born two sons. Survivors include sons, A. Dean Petersen and Ronald L. Petersen, Sr. (Louise), eight grandchildren, Christy Brown (Kevin), Connie Anderson (Brad), Cindy Moehring (Barry), Ronald Petersen, Jr. (Marty Ann), Renee Motazedi (John), Patty Miller (Darin), Michael Petersen and Kathy Petersen, twenty-one great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren. Ruth married Richard C. Rubison in 2003 and he preceded her in death in 2012.
Ruth was a pioneer in the Radio, Television and Cable Television industries. She began her broadcasting career in late 1949 with KWGB in Goodland, Kansas (now KLOE). She then joined KGAR (now KBUF) in Garden City, Kansas, and after several years became employed at KGNO, Dodge City, Kansas where she served eleven years as Advertising and Promotion Manager and later helped start a television station in Dodge City, Kansas in 1957.
Ruth came to Carthage, Missouri with her late husband, George Kolpin, in 1962. She loved Carthage the very minute she saw it. George and Ruth purchased KDMO radio which was operating from the “Radio House” at that time. George was host of the very popular KDMO “Switchboard Show” and served as President of the Jasper County Youth Fair for 16 years. George passed away in 1982.
Ruth started the cable television service in Carthage and expanded her cable holdings to 27 communities in Southwest Missouri. At the end of 1986, she sold CityVision, Inc., leaving seven cable plants doing business as Southwest Missouri Cable TV, which were sold to Cox Communications in September 1999.
In 1964, Ruth modernized the Peace Star atop the Jasper County Courthouse, which can still be seen today. In 1967, she served as Vice President and Finance Chairman of the 125th Anniversary of Carthage, which later became the annual Carthage Maple Leaf Festival. She served the community by involvement in many area organizations such as; The American Red Cross, Spiva Arts Center, Missouri Southern International Piano Competition, Girl Scouts, Heartland Opera, Carthage United Way, Chamber of Commerce, Community Foundation, Historic Preservation, Private Industry Council and Midwest Gathering of the Artists. She was also a lifetime member of Soroptomist International of Carthage.
In 1976, Ruth was named “Boss of the Year” by the Carthage Jaycees and “Citizen of the Year” in 1986 by the Carthage Lions Club. She received the Carthage Chamber of Commerce Athena Award in 1992. In 2006, she received the Carthage Chamber of Commerce Richard M. Webster “Citizen of the Year Award” and the Daughters of American Revolution Community Service Award. In 2008, she was named the “Women of the Year” by the Joplin Business Journal. Ruth was inducted in the Carthage Hall of Heroes in 2015. In 2017, the names of George and Ruth Kolpin were added to the new Carthage football stadium on the multi-story press box.
In 1988, Ruth was inducted into the National Cable Pioneers. Missouri Southern State University awarded Ruth the first ever Pioneer Broadcaster Award. In 2003, she established The Ruth I. Kolpin Endowed Broadcast Journalism Scholarship Fund for Missouri Southern State University students majoring in mass communication, with an emphasis on broadcasting. A generous donation was made by the Ruth I. Kolpin Foundation to help with the digital upgrade of KGCS-TV. In appreciation, the KGCS-TV studios were named “Ruth I. Kolpin Studios”.
Ruth had a strong passion for philanthropical giving and always wanted to help people succeed in their lives. She was looked up to by her family as the matriarch, who led by example. Her hard work and dedication will always be cherished by her children and grandchildren, who are following in her footsteps.
Mass of Christian Burial is 10:00 a.m. Thursday, May 2, 2019 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Webb City with Father J. Friedel officiating. Private entombment will follow at Park Cemetery in Carthage. Those honoring her life by serving as pallbearers are Matthew Anderson, Bennett Moehring, Hayden Moehring, Ron Petersen, III, Trey Emory, Chaz Miller, Cole Miller, Kyler Miller, William Motazedi, Phillip Motazedi, Justin Brown, Seth Truesdale, Dalton Thomas and Dakota Thomas. Prayer service will begin at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday in the chapel of Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary with visitation following until 8:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Ruth I. Kolpin Broadcast Journalism Scholarship at Missouri Southern State University or the R-9 School Foundation “Ruth I. Kolpin Rubison Early Childhood Center ~ Carthage” in care of the mortuary.
Arrangements are under the personal care and direction of Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary, Joplin, Missouri.