April 12, 2000

 Ruth E. Wade
Without music life would be a mistake.” Nietzsche

Ruth E. Wade was born to Sidney and Winnifred Tucker in Sherwood N.D., on Jan. 1, 1916. The family moved near turner, Mont., to homestead. When the harsh weather drove the homesteaders out, they moved to Huntley Project, where they farmed and had a small dairy. Ruth told stories of selling cream and eggs to residents of Billings on the “milk route.”

Ruth met Gene W. Wade while attending Huntley Project High School. After graduating, Ruth attended Billings Normal School and majored in music. Even though music remained a life-long passion, Gene persuaded Ruth to attend Billings Business College, because “a business education”was more important. Ruth and Gene married on Oct. 16, 1938.

The couple decided to call Cooke City, Mont., home and started a family. They had two sons, Gene Jr. and Dennis. They built a service station and cabins that became Watuck Lodge. Watuck, which many thought was “an old Indian name” was really a combination of the names Wade and Tucker. Running the lodge in those busy years, Ruth met many guests who became fast friends. As they added additional property, Ruth put her business degree to good use. At one time they owned or operated: the U.S. Post Office, State Liquor Store, Hiland Saw Mill, Hiland Guide Service and Watuck Lodge. The properties were sold in 1970.

Ruth loved living surrounded by mountains. She enjoyed fishing, hiking, playing the organ and singing. She and Gene continued to live in Cooke City until they moved to Billings in the fall of 1987. Ruth said, “We got tired of chopping wood.” Gene Sr. died in March 1993. The last few years of Ruth’s life were not as she would have wanted them to be. Her many years in Cooke City with Gene were the happiest of her life, and she would want people to remember her as she was in those days.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Sid and Winnie Tucker, husband, Gene W. Wade and brother, Ray Tucker. She is survived by two sons and their families: son, Gene and Marilyn Wade of Billings, granddaughter, Anne-Marie, grandson, Brian; son, Dennis and Susie Wade of Homer Alaska, granddaughters, Laralie and Winna. Other relatives are sister-in-law, Jackie Tucker, nephews, Steve Tucker, Mark Tucker and their families.

Cremation has taken place. A Memorial Service will be held at a later date in May. Memorials can be made to the First United Methodist Church, Mt. Republic Chapel of Peace, Cooke City, or the Yellowstone River Parks Association. Smith Chapel is in charge of arrangements.






 Photos 1, 2 and 3 show Gene Wade at the sawmill where he cut the timbers used to construct the Watuck Lodge. The Watuck was quite an undertaking for the time, as it included a bar, restaurant and modern rooms. I attended the grand opening of the Watuck in August of 1965 and was very impressed. Filet Mignon had come to Cooke City and was a big seller that evening. Photo 4 shows Big Stu sitting on the front of the truck, (picture 5), to balance the heavy load in the back and keep the front wheels on the ground.

 Picture 6 shows employee (and our contributor) with his dog "Sixpack" 0n a three day hike from Daisy Pass to the bottom of Slough Creek. Photo 7 Shows Dick Hargrove at the end of that hike. Dick Passed away this past July. (2008) Dicks folks owned a motel in Silver Gate.