Ruby Alene Johnson Kofford left this life on March 31, 2021 at age 94 to begin her journey home to her husband and sweetheart, Rex. Alene was born in Provo, Utah on May 18, 1926. She was the youngest of five children born to August J. and Ruth Elva Taylor Johnson. Alene grew up on her parents’ dairy farm in Lakeview near Orem, Utah where she learned how to work hard from an early age. She spent her summers picking strawberries and raspberries, thinning beets, hauling hay, and caring for the family chickens.
Alene attended first and second grade at the original Lakeview Elementary School and third through sixth grade at Spencer School in Orem, Utah. She attended and graduated both junior high and high school at Lincoln High School in Orem. Alene also attended Brigham Young University for two years, taking courses in business, music, and Spanish. Alene loved the outdoors and spent time hiking, sleigh riding, ice skating, roller skating, and skiing. At age 16, she got her first job working for the PE Ashton Car Dealership in Provo. The next summer, she worked as a secretary at Geneva Steel in Vineyard, Utah, and the summer after that, at age 18, she worked for the radio station KOVO in Provo.
Alene married Rex A. Kofford on June 28, 1946 in the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after Rex returned from serving in the Merchant Marines during World War II. Together, they had five children: Kent (Susan) of Ogden, Utah; Kelly of Dallas, Texas; Jeri (Terry-deceased) Cope of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Kurt (Karie) of Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Jaimee Durtschi (Denex) of Provo, Utah, whom they loved very much and were very proud of their accomplishments and character. Alene and Rex enjoyed raising their children.
Alene had many talents and accomplishments. She made and sewed clothing for her family and had a talent for crocheting and knitting. In fact, she had just started a project for her next expected greatgrandchild arriving this summer. She did not like to be idle, always planning the next project. Similarly, while raising her 5 children, she worked at several part-time jobs in various fields, such as doing clerical work for the IRS, being a paraprofessional at an elementary school, and helping with billing at the family owned and operated Royal Farm Dairy. It seems Alene’s strong work ethic and drive to be productive was also a blessing while moving over 20 times during her married life, including Provo and Ogden Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, and Colorado.
She also had a great love for music and was an accomplished pianist. Alene began piano lessons at age eight and continued on until her second year in college. At age 15, while attending Lincoln High School, she accompanied the school choir for concerts and musical productions. Her father was a vocalist and had Alene accompany him at church programs, outings, and many, many funerals. Later, she spent many hours accompanying soloists and quartets and playing the organ in church. From age 75-80, she accompanied choirs at Doherty High School in Colorado Springs. Music was a big part of Rex and Alene’s life together, as Rex was a harmonica and ukulele player and a singer in many groups, quartets, talent shows, and church choirs. They were both happily involved in a family quartet for many years. These musical moments brought Alene great happiness. From her childhood until the last week of her life she was playing the piano or organ, she said of herself, “music is my life”.
Alene loved to travel and share memories with family and friends. She was a lifelong, devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She served in the Church in many capacities and was always willing to accept Church callings. Alene served in every organization in the Church, serving as Cub Scout leader, Primary president, Young Women’s president, Relief Society teacher and presidency member, and organist in every ward and stake organization. She served as a devoted mother of the ward on two separate occasions when Rex served as Bishop. Alene also served three missions with her husband: In the Rochester, New York Mission; in the Family History Mission in Salt Lake City, Utah; and at the Church Employment Center in Colorado Springs.
Alene and Rex both left journals, photo albums and a three-volume personal history documenting important events in their lives and the lives of their children and friends that is cherished by their posterity.
Alene is survived by her five children, Kent, Kelly, Jeri, Kurt, and Jaimee, 24 grandchildren, and 55 great-grandchildren, with 2 more arriving this year. She was preceded in death by her parents, as well as by her sweetheart, Rex, and four siblings: Marjorie Snow, Phyllis Peterson, Herbert Johnson, and Nanalee Stratton. Services will be on April 9, 2021 at 10 am at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 4955 Meadowland Blvd Colorado Springs, CO 80918. Visitation will be from 9 am to 9:30 am.
The services will also be carried on Zoom at this link: