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Ruth I McKellep , age 86, went to be with her Heavenly Father on May 23, 2013 under the care of Aspirus Care and Hospice Services at the Hospice House in Wausau, WI. She was born on January 26, 1927 in Birnamwood, WI to the late Albert and Irene (Martin) Duescher.
Ruth attended school in Birnamwood, graduating from high school in 1945. She attended nursing school at St Mary's Hospital in Wausau, WI and worked as a registered nurse from 1948 to 1952. She then began working for her father in his Birnamwood drugstore, where she met her future husband. She married Russell McKellep on February 19, 1955 at St Paul's Lutheran Church in Birnamwood. They were married for 54 years before Russ preceded her in death on September 10th, 2009.
After her marriage, Ruth was a homemaker and assisted in caring for her new stepson Gerald (Gary) until she and Russ welcomed their own three children. While raising her children, Ruth was an active member of the St Paul's Altar Guild and Ladies Aid. She and Russell also owned and operated R & R Laundromat in Birnamwood from 1969 until 1988 which kept her very busy with the day to day tasks of running a successful business. Ruth took great pride in all the work she did as a mother, nurse and business owner. In 1990 Ruth and Russell moved to Antigo and joined Calvary Lutheran Church where she was an active member of the quilting group. She found great joy in making quilts to donate to mission projects and give as gifts to family and friends. Additionally, Ruth was a member of the Miriam Circle and the Friendship Circle groups at Calvary. Ruth and Russ also spent a number of winters in New Braunfels, TX where they made many memories and wonderful friends.
Ruth is survived by three children, Mary Jo (Jeff) Burgoyne of Hatley, Jane (Amy Boudreau) McKellep of Baton Rouge, LA and James McKellep of Birnamwood; two grandchildren, Jennifer (Rodger) Josiger and Jessica (John) Huggenvik, all of Wausau; four step-grandchildren, Carol (Allen) Hendrix, Tom (Connie) McKellep, Kim Millward, and Mark McKellep all of the Ft Collins, CO area; four great-grandchildren; Nicholas and Ryan Josiger and Grace and Emma Huggenvik, all of Wausau and five step-great- grandchildren; Alexa and Wyatt Allerheiligen, Austin McKellep, and Doug and Mike Hendrix of Ft Collins, CO.
Additionally Ruth is survived by two sisters, Marjorie Biancardi of Madison, WI and Lorraine Olingy of Honolulu, HI; four nephews and five nieces.
In addition to her husband and parents, Ruth was preceded in death by her stepson, Gary and his wife Marilyn; her brother, Herbert and his wife Gretchen; brother-in-laws Harry Olingy and Michael Biancardi, sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Ellen and Arno Ecker, and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Austin and Ester McKellep.
The Funeral Service will be held at 2pm on Monday, May 27, 2013 at Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home, Birnamwood. Rev. Nancy Richmond will officate. Interment will be in Forest Cemetery, Birnamwood. Visitation will be on Monday from 11am until the time of services at the funeral home. The family guestbook and condolences are available at schmidtschulta.com.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the
, the disease that robbed Ruth of much of the last years of her life.
The family would like to thank the staff at SeKara LLC where Ruth lived and was cared for the last few months of her life, as well as the staff of Aspirus Hospice House. Both groups are filled with wonderfully special and caring individuals.
Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home
445 Main Street Birnamwood, WI 54414
Published in the Wausau Daily Herald from May 24 to May 26, 2013