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In memoriam: Ventura Ruiz, co-owner of former Henri's restaurant in OCC

At her 100th birthday party in 2010, Ventura Ruiz posed with her daughter, Carmen Grande, and her son, Henry Ruiz, Jr.
Jane Ellis photo; courtesy of Carmen Grande
Ventura Ruiz, who co-owned Henri's restaurant in Old Colorado City through the latter half of the 20th century, died July 23, just nine days after her 106th birthday.
       Graveside services are scheduled Aug. 12 at 11 a.m. at Evergreen Cemetery.
       She is survived by a son, Henry Joseph Jr.; a daughter, Carmen Grande; and two grandchildren. Her husband, Henry Ruiz, passed away in 1981.
       Henri's operated from 1946 until 2006. In a 2007 interview with the Westside Pioneer, Carmen related that the Ruiz family ran the restaurant until
Ventura Ruiz is shown at about age 20 (in the year 1930) when she was performing Mexican folk songs in Colorado Springs.
Photographer unknown; courtesy of Carmen Grande
2001. The Old Colorado City location, starting in 1951, was 2427 W. Colorado Ave.
       A restaurant reopened on that site in 2007, and the building has been extensively remodeled. Owned by Jorge Ayala, the original name of the current restaurant was Henri's by Jorge's, later shortened to Jorge's.
       Although Henri's was named for her father, Carmen pointed out that the cook was actually her mother. Ventura's cooking background started with her mother Maria, who had legally immigrated to the United States with her then-10-year-old daughter in about 1920 after the Mexican Revolution.
       During her early 20s, Ventura performed as a musician in Colorado Springs, singing Mexican folk songs while accompanying herself on guitar, Carmen said.
       When she turned 100 in 2010, Ventura was asked what had contributed to her reaching that milestone. She replied, “having a good attitude on everything through life.”
       To see the 2007 Westside Pioneer article on Henri's, go to this link.

Westside Pioneer/obituary
(Posted 8/8/16; Community: In Memoriam)

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