Former Henri’s owner celebrates 100th

       Ventura Ruiz, who owned or co-owned Henri's restaurant in Old Colorado City for 50 years, celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends July 14.

Ventura Ruiz (left) celebrated her 100th birthday July 14, a week after her great-great grandson Anthony was born. Also in the picture is the newborn's father, Ventura's great-grandson Marshall Abbott.
Jane Ellis photos

       “It was lovely,” summarized her daughter, Carmen Grande. “Unfortunately, she's outlived all her friends and had to bury four of her six brothers.”
       One of her surviving brothers, Ignacio Ortiz, was on hand (the other lives in California and could not come, Grande said).
       The cake had a picture of Ventura, then age 20, playing a guitar. It was taken when she used to perform Mexican folk songs around Colorado Springs.
       She and her husband Henri actually started their Colorado Springs restaurant in 1946, moving to Old Colorado City in 1951. She ran it alone after his death in 1981, then sold it in 2001. (The business finally closed in 2006, but the site reopened as Jorge's Mexican-food restaurant in 2007, and owner Jorge Ayala bought the Henri's corporate name.)
       Other immediate family members at the party included Grande, her daughters, Laura Grande and Andrea Garnhart, Laura's son, Marshall Abbott and his son Anthony, just a week old.
       When asked what's contributed to her longevity, Ventura replied, “having a good attitude on everything through life.”

Westside Pioneer article
(with appreciation to Jane Ellis)


Ventura Ruiz' birthday cake, with a picture of her at age 20 as a Colorado Springs musical performer.
Jane Ellis photos