Ruth Pipes

Ruth Pipes
Ruth Pipes

Ruth Pipes of Amarillo, TX went to her heavenly home on April 5, 2020 after a long chronic illness. Her sister, Janette Sumner, lovingly cared for Ruth during the last few weeks of her journey home.

Jimmie Ruth Pegram Pipes was born on August 17, 1939, in Grenada, MS to Sarah Ruth Phillips Pegram and James Clifton Pegram.

Ruth was pre-deceased by her mother (three days after her birth); her maternal grandparents, who raised her. Her father passed away in 2006. She was also pre-deceased by numerous aunts, uncles and her fraternal grandparents. Also pre-deceasing her in death was her former husband and father of her children, Thomas Austin Birkhead.

Ruth is survived by her son, Steven Austin Birkhead of Amarillo, TX and her daughter, Stephanie Birkhead of Fort Worth ,TX. Also surviving are five grandchildren: Austin Birkhead (Katie) of Still Water, OK; Hunter Birkhead (Emma) of Mansfield, TX; Julia Birkhead of Katy, Texas, Rick Romero (McKenzie) of Ponca City, OK and Shane Romero of Ft. Worth, TX. Ruth is also survived by three great-grandsons: Ramsey Romero of Ponca City, OK, Henry Romero of Ponca City. OK and Jackson Birkhead of Still Water, OK.

Also surviving Ruth are half-siblings, James Pegram of Conyers, GA; Janette Sumner of Jonesboro, GA; Rosanne Tillotson of


Palm Harbor, FL; John Pegram of Concord, NC. She also is survived by numerous nieces and nephews and cousins.

Ruth’s passion in life was working with children. After retiring from BSA in 2002 she worked in early childhood departments at both Polk Street Methodist Church and First Baptist Church of Amarillo, TX. Ruth believed that every moment with a child is a teaching moment.

In her early years Ruth was Secretary for Department of Elementary Education from 1970-1973. She also worked as Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director of the Board of Directors of Amarillo Mental Health Retardation Center.

She served in part-time positions at Woodruff, Moore, Motley Ins. Agency; Don T. Rowe & Assoc., Accounting Firm; First National Bank in Human Resources as assistant to the Benefits Manager; worked in two advertising agencies: Smith-Tarter & Assoc and DB & U Advertising. Ruth also worked as a Placement Counselor at Shaw Employment.

She said that one of the things that she was proudest of was participating in a 7-month study of how Zinc and copper was used in the body in Grand Forks, ND, in 1998.

We would like to thank her caregivers with Encompass Hospice as she walked the journey of transition from this life to the next.

At this time, we regretfully cannot have a service, so in lieu of flowers please make a donation to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital per Ruth’s request.


The family will gather for a life celebration at a later date in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a place she loved and wanted her ashes to be spread.


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