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Ruth Muriel (Kempter) Karim, 82, passed away Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, at home.
Ruth was born Sept. 12, 1930, in Brownsville, MN, to Lauris Kempter and Esther (Larson) Kempter of Ortley, SD. Esther was widowed when Ruth was three months old, and their daughter, Delores, was two. Following the death of Lauris, Esther and the girls moved to Waubay. In 1933, Esther relocated the family to Pierre.
Ruth graduated from Pierre High School in 1948. She was selected as one of South Dakota's two delegates to the American Legion Auxiliary's first-ever Girls' Nation Assembly in 1947. Ruth attended the University of South Dakota (USD) at Vermillion, where she was a member of the Alpha Phi sorority, and graduated in 1952, with Phi Beta Kappa honors. Ruth taught English in Meckling, Philip, and Pierre.
In August 1959, Ruth met the love of her life, Mansour Karim, and they were married Dec. 31, 1959, in Huron. Ruth and Mansour added four children to the three children from Ruth's previous marriage. Ruth was a loving, involved mother in her children's formation at school, at play, and in their spiritual development.
In the early 1970s, Ruth was a freelance journalist, including for the Rapid City Journal. In 1969, Ruth was elected to the Pierre School District Board of Education, on which she served until 1977.
In 1973, Ruth co-founded South Dakota Right to Life (SDRTL) to champion pro-life causes. Ruth served as SDRTL's executive director and lobbyist until 1991. Ruth earned the respect of lawmakers, state leaders, lobbyists and citizens for her rational but tenacious advocacy on difficult topics.
Ruth and Mansour retired together in 1991. Ruth was a faithful member of the Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Pierre. Ruth and Mansour recognized the role that education plays through gifts they made for scholarship programs at SDSU and for USD's nursing program in Pierre. Ruth will continue to be a bright, inspirational light to her family, friends, and community for her selfless love, deep faith in God, and perseverance through life's challenges.
Ruth is survived by her husband of 53 years, Mansour of Pierre; her sister, Delores (Gordon) Kurvink Mydland of Pierre; children, Laura (Mark) Kist of Pierre, Kiran Karim of Kailua Kona, HI, Shane (Dan) DeWald of Seattle, WA, Zahra (Todd) Pfeifer of Omaha, NE, Monni (Karen) Karim of Custer, Soraya (Gordon) Anaple of Cincinnati, OH, and Jafar (Jessica) Karim of Rapid City; grandchildren, Marla (Jason) Knepper, Jonathan (Vicki) Kist, Cara (Tyson) Hickle, Ky DeWald, Calan (Casey) DeWald-Peterson, Heather and Michael Pfeifer, Chase and Tori Glazier, Ramsey Karim, Grace, Olivia, Gordy, and Kempter Anaple, and Sienna, Soraya, and baby Karim; great-grandchildren, Cole and Alex Knepper, Emily, Nathan and Noel Kist, Landon and Maya Hickle, and Presley DeWald; and nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Ruth was preceded in death by her mother, Esther (Kempter) Stoecker and her father, Lauris Kempter.
Memorial services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.
In the generous spirit of Ruth and Mansour, the family asks that in lieu of flowers, gifts be made to St. Mary's Foundation Ruth Karim Endowment, SD Right to Life Education Fund, and Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Family Center Fund.
Online condolences may be sent at www.isburgfuneralchapels.com.
Published in The Argus Leader on Feb. 14, 2013