Ruth Scheuer Tsotsis
1930 - 2020
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Ruth Scheuer Tsotsis

Born: July 5, 1930; in Mainz, Germany

Died: May 8, 2020; in Madison, WI

Ruth Scheuer Tsotsis, age 89, passed away on Friday, May 8, 2020. She was born on July 5, 1930, in Mainz, Germany. In 1939, her family fled Nazi Germany and, after a year-and-a-half as refugees, settled in Mexico City.

Ruth graduated at the top of her class from Universidad Autónoma Nacional de México, earned a Fulbright scholarship, and received a master's degree in Economics from Columbia University. After graduating, she returned to México and worked for the Secretariat for Home Affairs, evaluating the price of tortillas.

In 1958, she married Basil Tsotsis, a fellow Fulbright scholar in her orientation group. They settled in DeKalb, Ill. where they remained until Basil's death.

Ruth moved to Madison in 2005. She was active in AAUW and volunteered at her children's schools during and long after their student days. She was an avid quilter, seamstress, and knitter and enjoyed making items for family and friends. She continuously impressed her family, especially when they'd see her watching TV, reading, and knitting all at the same time!

Always curious, Ruth read about anything from art to physics, archeology to poetry. At one point, she hoped to be a translator and worked as one at the UN during her studies at Columbia. Speaking Spanish, English, German, Greek, and French, we always wondered what language she dreamt in. She was genuinely invested in other people, had an amazing recall for names, places, history, and she never forgot a birthday!

Ruth is survived by her son, Thomas (Amy) Tsotsis; daughter, Helena (Steve Somerson) Tsotsis; and granddaughters, Natalie and Erica Somerson. She was preceded in death by her parents, Walter and Gertrude (Lebrecht) Scheuer; husband, Basil; and brother, Bernd.

Donations can be made in her memory to refugee and immigration services through Fundación del Empresariado Sonorense A.C. and Jewish Social Services of Madison. Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson East Funeral & Cremation Care, 5203 Monona Drive, (608) 221-5420

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Published in The MidWeek News on May 23, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
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1 entry
May 25, 2020
To Ruths Children and Grandchildren
I always looked forward to seeing Ruth at my Salon and had very fun and lively conversations.
She was an extraordinary and intelligent woman whose drive and love for life catapulted her to become a woman who you would admire and care for.
She will be missed by all of you and be proud you had such a wonderful woman in your life.
My heart goes out to you for your loss!
Helen Umbdenstock
Helens Hair Designs and Spa
Helen Umbdenstock
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