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Ruth Anne Keppel-Aleks

1952 - 2019
Ruth Anne Keppel-Aleks Obituary
Ruth Anne Keppel-Aleks 1952—2019
Ruth Anne Keppel-Aleks, age 67, died at Anam Glen on November 8, 2019.
Ruth was born in Sheboygan, WI on June 30, 1952, a daughter of the late Anne and Bill Keppel. Throughout her life, she was a proud Wisconsinite and enjoyed returning to her home state for holidays and family parties. Family was the center of her life; Ruth was devoted to her husband of 43 years, Bill Aleks, and her daughters, Margaret (John Murphy), Gretchen (Aaron Wolf), and Rachel. She poured her energy into providing educational opportunities for her daughters, planning family trips, and sewing clothes that reflected each daughter's personality. Ruth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with bachelor's and master's degrees in early childhood education and special education. Over her long career, she taught a range of subjects including special education and early primary grades. Ruth was creative in the classroom and engaged her students with hands-on activities that reflected her love of learning.
Ruth was a proud progressive and a tireless activist: she advocated for quality public education for all students and a stronger voice for her fellow teachers via her involvement in her labor union, the Illinois Education Association. These were values learned from her parents and passed on to her daughters. In addition to her husband and daughters, Ruth is survived by a large family, including her granddaughter, Rosa Aleks-Wolf; her siblings Bill (Polly) Keppel, Jean (Michael) Baldikoski, Jim (Kathy Kind-Keppel) Keppel, Bob Keppel, Mary Beth Keppel (Michael Kepler), Susan (Bill) Bernhardt; her sister-in-law Mary Ann (Aleks) Smith; and her 17 nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by sister-in-law Mary Beth Keppel and brother-in-law Gordon Smith. The family extends a special thank you to the aides and nursing staff at Anam Glen, who loved and cared for Ruth for many years, as well as the caregivers from United Hospice.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 16 at 11am at Fred C. Olson Chapel, 1001 Second Avenue, Rockford IL. A visitation will precede the service at 10am. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Ruth's memory to Jobs with Justice (https://www.jwj.org/) or to the music therapy program at Anam Glen (Satori Cares, Inc. 7431 East State St. #253, Rockford, IL 61108).
Published in Rockford Register Star from Nov. 9 to Nov. 16, 2019
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