Gardening 06

Ruth Ann (Wilhelm) Brown

May 22, 1941 ~ February 25, 2022 (age 80)

Obituary Image


Ruth Ann (Wilhelm) Brown
May 22, 1941 - February 25, 2022

Ruth Ann (Wilhelm) Brown passed away quietly in her rural Sierra Vista, Arizona, home February 25, 2022, attended by her loving family and hospice caregivers. She was 80.

Ruth Ann was born May 22, 1941 in Phoenix, the first child of Richard Lester Wilhelm and Ruth Wilma Bartholomew Wilhelm.

During her youth, she took piano and dance lessons, sang in the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral choir, competed on the Roosevelt Pool swim team and volunteered as a St. Joseph’s Hospital candy striper. She attended South Mountain High School in Phoenix.

Ruth moved to California to raise her children with her first husband, the late Robert Estrada. She lived at times in San Francisco, Long Beach, Pleasant Hill, Sebastopol, Vallejo and Benicia.

She married her long-time soulmate George E. Brown in 2006. Together they settled four acres in the High Knoll community south of Sierra Vista, where they enjoyed a quiet rustic life surrounded by high desert beauty.

Sundown was her favorite time of day. She and George often held hands to watch the sunset over the Huachuca Mountains.

Fondly known to many as “Grandma Ruth”, she was a great-great-grandmother who never failed to send greeting cards marking every birthday, anniversary, holiday and special occasion.

She will be remembered as the lynchpin who held her extended family together. She made sure her children got to know their relatives and appreciate family gatherings. Ruth was a non-judgmental woman who steadfastly provided unconditional love to her family.

Ruth worked many years for the Pacific Telephone Co. in California, where she served as a union steward.

After retiring, she dedicated years of her life helping people as the Salvation Army’s family service coordinator in Sierra Vista. She was active in the corps’ women’s ministry and prayer request line, as well as cooking the meals shared after worship services.

Ruth also worked part-time at several retail stores. And she joined family members to staff a bingo joint, which traveled to fairs and community gatherings throughout the west.

She adored animals, especially cats and dogs. She delighted in feeding wild deer and wandering cattle around her Sierra Vista property. She took pride in her garden and creating special sitting areas where she could savor the views.

Ruth’s hobbies included doing word jumble puzzles, drawing and cooking. She loved reading the Bible and historical fiction, and she liked watching Saturday night shows on PBS. She relished camping with family members, and she spent one summer with her husband as KOA campground hosts in Colorado.

Ruth is survived by her husband, George E. Brown of Sierra Vista, Arizona; two daughters, Ruth Ann Estrada (Dale Bettinelli) of Sebastopol, California, and Debra Blay (Ed Blay) of Grants Pass, Oregon; one son, Richard Estrada (Joanne Estrada) of Oakdale, California; two sisters, JoAnn Bond (Bud Bond) of Phoenix, Arizona, and Mary Ann Gove-Cheatham (Walter Cheatham) of Laveen, Arizona; and one brother, Richard Wilhelm of Mesa, Arizona.

Also surviving her are six grandsons, Paul Privitt, Dustin Privitt, Vincent Estrada and Nicholas Estrada of California, and Eddie Blay and Michael Blay of Oregon; one step-granddaughter, Anna Huit of Oregon; numerous great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

Ruth helped raise her nieces RuthAnn Wilhelm and RaeAnn Wilhelm. Her other nieces and nephews include Glenn Bond, Nancy Ann Bond Walker, Roger Lopez, and Tina Ann Callender.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at the Windemere Hotel, 2047 Arizona 92, Sierra Vista.

Contributions are preferred to the Salvation Army’s Sierra Vista Corps.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ruth Ann (Wilhelm) Brown, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
April 23, 2022

2:00 PM
Windemere Hotel
2047 S. Hwy 92
Sierra Vista, Arizona 85635

© 2022 Hatfield Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility