COLUMBIA — Ruth "Ruthie" M. Roe taught her daughter to live life to the fullest and to love wholeheartedly.
"I was an only child, and we were very close — my mom and my best friend, all rolled up into one," Cindy Albright, her daughter, said.
Ruth M. Roe of Columbia died Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. She was 71. She died at home, with her daughter and son-in-law.
She was born in Boone County on March 17, 1940, to Preston "Pete" Bell McMahan and Pearl Marie Martin.
"She lived her whole life in Boone County," Albright said. "It was home for her."
Home was important to Ms. Roe, who always enjoyed decorating her house. She always looked forward to Saturday, when she and her daughter would spend the day together, going to lunch and shopping, Albright said.
Ms. Roe waitressed at Flaming Pit for more than 20 years and Midway Travel Plaza for 18 years, as well as several other restaurants in town.
"She was an excellent waitress, always friendly, had a little skip in her step," Albright said. "You could always tell she enjoyed her job and gave it everything she had."
The family was devastated to find out Ms. Roe had terminal cancer.
"She and I were making plans for things we were still going to do," Albright said.
She died exactly two weeks after receiving the news about her illness.
"The disease itself, if it can come on that fast, and race through a person that quickly, and take a life from someone who was so full of life and fun to be around," Albright said.
She was fond of her daughter's dog, Chopper, a chocolate lab, and sometimes referred to him as her "granddog."
Ms. Roe is survived by her daughter, Cindy Albright, and her husband, Tim; her brother, Gary McMahan, and his wife, Eva, of Columbia; her sisters, Nina Harrison and her husband, Ronnie, of Fulton, Sue Benedict and her husband, Dennis, and Kay McMahan, all of Columbia; stepmother, Sarah McMahan, of Columbia; a niece, Janine Coleman and her husband, Danny; nephew, Mike McMahan and his wife, Pam, all of Rocheport; grandnieces, Rebecca and Hanna Fay, both of Rocheport; and grandnephews, Brandon and Ryan, both of Rocheport.
Her parents, a sister-in-law Evelyn McMahan, and brothers Homer McMahan and Dennis McMahan, died earlier.
Albright said she is appreciative of her wonderful family and array of friends that rallied around her throughout her ordeal.
A gathering of friends and family will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Services will follow at 3 p.m. at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made in memory of Ms. Roe to the American Cancer Society, 1900 N Providence Road #105, Columbia, MO 65202.
Condolences can be posted at memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com.