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Elfriede Ruppert, of Pine City, N.Y., always lived her life as an "angel" while on earth, and was loved by all, whose many lives she touched. Elfriede, a child of God, very fittingly, was born on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 1920, in Germany. She was 92. In the early morning hours of April 18, God said, "It is time. You have sacrificed, struggled, and suffered enough, as did my own son, Jesus, and now, I need you." So God placed a larger set of wings on Elfriede to insure that her journey to heaven would be a speedy, comfortable and beautiful one; and it was. As God readied her, the sun shone upon her, a flock of cardinals chirped, gold finches perched on her many visible feeders, and her spring flowers bloomed abundantly. These were "A Few Of Her Favorite Things." (The Sound of Music)
Those wondrous beauties of nature were miracles and messages to her family, letting them know that "All is Good . . . I am at Peace." Angels come in all shapes and sizes and Elfriede had many. "Thank you to our special angels: Dr. Brian Cassetta, Lisa, Kathy Stephens, Care First, Brittanie, and especially you, Erika, for the care, concern, moral support, love and kindness that you bestowed upon Mom. It took a miracle; and you were ALL there, at different moments, supporting Mom and our families during our difficult time. What matters is, "Mom came home."
Elfriede is survived by her oldest daughter, who was also her loving and dedicated caregiver of three and one-half years, Etta Kay (Ruppert) Gary "Mad Man" Dewey Jr. of Pine City, who states, "Not only was Elfriede my Mother; but she was my Mom, My Best Friend and My Everything. Inherited from her, I also embraced the outdoors, became a pretty darn good cook, loved the fine arts, became a writer; but most all, Mom gave me my strength of character. Mom was never a burden. She was always a joy. Every moment spent with her was a gift. Each and every day she over-flowed my heart with strength, happiness, and unconditional love. I will forever cherish our memories of the countless and "magical times," that we shared with our "Third Musketeer," my daughter, Raegan. If there was a bingo game somewhere or a slot machine, chances are that the three of us would be there together. The Three Musketeers traveled throughout America and Europe together making memories at every destination. Mom loved the sun, sand, hot pretzels, sea gulls, and the ocean, especially in Atlantic City. Her smile was priceless when she heard her slot machine go "cha-ching;" or Raegan excitedly yelled to her, "Nana Banana, you've got it; yell Bingo!" Heaven will never be the same. Yes, I have been truly blessed. Elfriede is also survived by her other loving, devoted, and caring daughter, Heide Rose (Ruppert) Tim Curren of Gillett, who affectionately states, " The abilities that I mirrored from Mom are, my baking skills, (especially the traditional German Christmas Stollen), organizational skills, my neat and tidy housekeeping skills, love of the outdoors, and the values of having a solid family and my "hard work" ethics. Mom was one hell of a strong woman. Her size 11 women's shoes can never be filled. I will sorely miss her quirky smile, her loving laughter, her kisses, and her arms as they embraced me." Elfriede is also survived by her two affectionately called "Teddy Bear" wonderful sons, Mark (Kathy) Ruppert and "peanut" Peter Ruppert both of Wellsboro. Her boys, as she referred to them, were always there whenever anything needed fixing or replacing. Sharing stories with them about "Pop Pop" was important to her legacy. Her greatest, anticipated Christmas goodie was the German meat salad that her son Mark made every year for ALL to enjoy, thus carrying on an important and yummy family tradition. Her family was very important to Elfriede, and special were those times that she spent with all of them. She cherished her grandchildren, Stephen J. Olmsted and Raegan Gara Dewey, Tina Marie Curren and friend Sam Weaver, Stephanie (Matt) Sweet, Jason and Jen Ruppert, Eric Ruppert, Sabrina (Matt) Hazelton, and several precious great grandchildren, and one adorable great, great grandson. Five generations of loved ones have now become four. Our loss is God's gain. Elfriede's arrival to Heaven brought tears of joy to those who predeceased her: her loving husband, Jacob, brother and sister-in-law Kurt and Gisela Zerbst, and her Grandson, Shawn Ruppert. Elfriede leaves behind her special long time friends, Mary Lou Wertz, Debbie Ruppert, Jeannette White, and Shelva Jean. In Germany, though far away, her nieces Ute and Heike, and their families, always remained in her heart. Elfriede loved the USA. Shortly after receiving her citizenship; she opened a kindergarten in Trappe, where she gratefully "gave back" to hundreds of children, her knowledge of education, and love for the fine arts. Elfriede was proud to be an American. She was a multi-talented, and an amazing strong woman. Later in life Elfriede and her husband, Jacob moved to Wellsboro, where they owned and operated the Grand Canyon Motel and Restaurant. Wow could she cook. People came from all over to savor some of her "famed" German Goulash. Elfriede was also a noted and published author of music, poetry booklets and was especially well-known for her writing of a book entitled, "A Historical and Folklore Tour of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon" which was published in 1964. She even received a recognition of achievement and personal letter from Lady Bird Johnson thanking her for a copy of her book. An excerpt from Lady Bird's letter reads, "The President's national program for beauty can only be realized if people like you dedicate their time and talent to the opportunities before them." Adorning the cover of her booklet of poems entitled "To Those We Love," Reflections by: Elfriede Elisabeth Ruppert (Published 1989) are Elfriede's infinite words of compelling wisdom, "Not what you see, But how you see it, Will make the difference In your life." Thank you Mom, Grandma, Nana, Aunt, Friend and Neighbor for never being judgmental, and for always unconditionally giving your love to all of us. Your legacy of life will forever live on through your beautiful thoughts and words. Elfriede and her family would appreciate that everyone just "pay it forward" and share the gift of quality time with a loved one, especially an elderly one. Each day spent with a loved one is an appreciated gift. Make memories while you can. They will last a lifetime.
Published in The Wellsboro Gazette from Apr. 23 to Apr. 29, 2013
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