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Ruth Elaine VanDemark, 68, died peacefully with family on June 9, from complications of breast cancer. Former president of the Appellate Lawyers Association, she argued before the Illinois Supreme Court. As pastor of Wicker Park Lutheran Church, she restored a decaying church to its place as a center of worship and a community resource. Ruth is survived by her husband Leland Wilkinson; daughters Amie and Caroline Wilkinson; mother Bertie VanDemark; brothers Robert Jr. and Richard VanDemark; son-in-law Benson Farb and grandchildren Beatrice and Felix Farb. Visitation, 9 a.m., and funeral services, 11 a.m., on June 23, at Wicker Park Lutheran Church, 2112 W. LeMoyne, Chicago, followed by lunch. Donations in her memory may be made to Wicker Park Lutheran Church ( and North Avenue Day Nursery (

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Published in Chicago Tribune from Jun. 16 to Jun. 17, 2012.
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3 entries
June 22, 2012
A big loss for Lutherans United in Northwest Chicago (LUNCH). Thank God for you.
Eardley Mendis
June 21, 2012
I have thought about how hard you worked ever since I left WPLC in 2010. You were truly amazing and you left an amazing legacy. My hearfelt condolences to Lee and the family and all at Wicker Park Lutheran Church. It is still in existence because of you. Thank you for all you've done for others, for the example you've shown and for your life of faith.
Cecilie Walsh
June 19, 2012
So sad to see you go, Ruth... much too early. We will miss you so.
Rob Vrshek
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