Cover photo for Dolores Ruth Coles's Obituary
1929 Ruth 2023

Dolores Ruth Coles

February 28, 1929 — December 3, 2023

St. George, Utah

Dolores Ruth Coles died peacefully December 3, 2023 in St. George, Utah at 94 years of age. Ruth was born February 28, 1929 in Loma Linda, California. She was the daughter of Herman Wesley Cole and Nelle Eleanor Cooper. She had an older sister, Eleanor Dellan “Buddy” Shrader. Ruth was born during the Great Depression, and experienced hardship as a child. She attended San Bernardino High School where she enjoyed her friends and activities and worked after school as a car hop on roller skates. The United States entered World War II during Ruth's high school years. After her graduation, she worked at Camp Ono, an Italian prisoner of war camp on the site where Cal State San Bernardino is now located. She then attended San Bernardino Valley College, where she enjoyed journalism and playing tennis. 

In 1946, she married a returned soldier, Joseph Paten Livingston. In 1947, she gave birth to twin boys, Benjamin Lee Livingston and Robert Kenneth Livingston. In 1955, she had another son, James Frederick Livingston and in 1956, a daughter, Debra Sue Livingston. Ruth and Joe were divorced, and she began her life as a single mother. 

Ruth had always worked outside the home, and in 1963, she bought a house by herself, which was very unusual for a woman to do in the 1960's. She had a strong work ethic, and began working as an office manager in the construction industry. This led to her joining the Women in Construction (WIC) organization where she served in leadership positions and became the President of the San Bernardino/Riverside Chapter of WIC. Her leadership offered her many opportunities to travel as a representative of WIC. She was joined by her sister “Buddy” in WIC and they also became competitive Scrabble players, participating in Scrabble tournaments nationally. Ruth became interested in genealogy, and began her research. She became an avid genealogist, and eventually wrote several books about her family history. She also enjoyed jewelry making, producing many exceptional pieces. After leaving the construction industry, Ruth went to work for the Fontana Unified School District, where she was the Assistant Director of Food Services. In 2001, she retired from that position then moved to St. George, Utah to be close to family.

In St. George, she became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She served in many positions in her ward and branch. She especially loved helping others write their personal histories. Ruth loved and adored her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.  She was preceded in death by her sister, Eleanor Dellan “Buddy” Jenes, her son, James Frederick Livingston, her grandson, Jeremy Travis Bartlett, and her great grandson, Stefan Livingston. She is survived by her son, Benjamin Lee Livingston (Alice) of Apex, North Carolina, son Robert Kenneth Livingston of Healdsburg, California, daughter Debra Sue Bartlett (Russ) of St. George, Utah, and 33 grandchildren and great grandchildren.

She is greatly missed by all who knew her sharp wit and her generous spirit. She was the matriarch of the family, and will always remain in the hearts of those who love her dearly. 

Funeral services will be held Thursday, December 7, 2023 at 11:00 A.M. at the Diamond Valley Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1784 West Diamond Valley Drive, St. George, Utah. Visitation will be at the same day and location from 9:30 A.M. to 10:45 A.M. Interment will be at Tonaquint Cemetery.

The funeral service may be viewed on the Live Stream link below.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, December 7, 2023

9:30 - 10:45 am (Mountain time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)


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Thursday, December 7, 2023

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