Ruth Louise Keel, née Schneider, age 97 years, of St. Louis, MO, died Friday, May 15, 2020, at Ascension Living Lansdowne Place nursing home where she had resided since November 2012. Ruth was born August 2, 1922, on a farm near Jefferson City, MO, the daughter of Oscar F. and Mattie (Connell) Schneider, both deceased. She was married on July 5, 1945, in Alexandria, LA, to Billy D. Keel, who preceded her in death. Five brothers also preceded her in death. Ruth graduated from Jefferson City High School in Jefferson City, MO, attended the University of Missouri in Columbia and with the outbreak of World War II began working at the St. Louis Ordnance Plant making .30 and .50 caliber ammunition for the war effort. In 1944, she entered the US Army Nursing Corps as a cadet at the Jewish Hospital of St. Louis, graduating as an RN in 1947. She continued to work as a nurse at that hospital for nearly thirty years while raising a family, being promoted to the position of Assistant Director of Nursing (night) prior to her retirement in the late 1970s. Following retirement, she and her husband built a log home at "The Hickory Grove" on property purchased from the Schneider farm near Jefferson City, MO, and resided there for nearly 30 years. Survivors include two sons, William D. Keel and his wife, Nancy, of Lawrence, KS, and Robert O. (Rocky) Keel and his wife, Jane, of St. Louis, MO, six grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren as well as many nieces and nephews. A private memorial service is planned.
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Published in Lawrence Journal-World on May 19, 2020.