R uth Gladys (Schonewill) Meyer was born July 20, 1926 to Helene and Marcus Schonewill in Volga, South Dakota. Ruth went to join her family in Heaven on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at Maple Heights Nursing Home in Hiawatha, Kansas.
Ruth had three brothers Edward, Burnette, and Duane and four sisters Kathryn, Gertrude, Laura, and Carol.
Ruth grew up on a farm with a mother who cooked, ironed, cleaned, and raised eight children. Her father worked eight to twelve hours a day on the farm in order to make a living for his family. She always remembered everyone eating around the table together, blessing the food first, and sharing all they had. She loved how all of them would pile into the car on Sunday morning to attend two church services, one in Dutch, and one in English. She was always thankful that she had loving, God fearing parents who taught her about God, taught her to love God above all, and taught her that He is always faithful.
Ruth graduated from Volga High School in 1944. She worked in Volga until her marriage to Alvin Meyer on August 4, 1948 after he returned from his service in the Army.
The first years of Ruth’s marriage included life as the wife of a college student who attended South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota. When Alvin was called back into the service for a stint stateside, they moved to Maryland and then New Jersey. When he began his career in the dairy industry, they moved to Wheaton, Illinois, Volga, South Dakota, seven years in Castlewood, South Dakota, one year in South Shore, South Dakota, a two-year stint in Rochester, Minnesota, four years in Chillicothe, Missouri, and finally settled in Sabetha, Kansas where they eventually retired.
Ruth worked at the Apostolic Christian Home in Sabetha, Kansas as Activities Director for ten years. She had one of the longest employee records at the home and that along with her many contributions was celebrated at a retirement dinner in August 1989. She made some dear friends, showed compassion for residents, and impacted many lives. Prior to that, she had worked as a nurse’s aide for more than six years.
Ruth loved gardening and enjoyed the bounty by canning green beans, tomatoes, and so much more. Making jams, jellies, and homemade pies was always a special treat she gladly shared with so many. Knowing the importance of hard work, she taught all her children well.
She and Alvin loved to travel and were excited when they purchased a fifth wheel RV and began their trek around the country often looking up old friends and relatives along the way. Taking in the sights of the country and remembering their trips with hundreds of photos, was a delight for Ruth. She was always so proud of her pictures and albums, every single page clearly noted the what, when, and where of each picture. She always kept a tiny notebook as they traveled. This enabled her to keep track of every picture that they took on their adventures which made it easier for her to assemble her beloved scrapbooks.
Ruth’s photos were not only about travel. She always had a camera in her hand ready to snap you at a minute’s notice. She loved capturing her family, in a flash of a second, forever recorded as a moment in time. This was her way of embracing her beloved family to be cherished for years to come. And her computer was filled with hundreds of these pictures and they were assembled on a rotating desktop for her to watch at her leisure.
Family was everything to Ruth. Any time a grandbaby arrived she always went to help. She was always involved with her grandchildren and provided assistance when she could. With great pride and enthusiasm, she shared photos of her grandchildren as the number grew and they were ever changing.
Because they were local, she was thrilled when her granddaughter, Kacey, was born and she was able to care for her after school and on weekends. And Jake, the grandson that followed, gave her much joy (and an occasional frustration) as she too cared for him on a regular basis. These children were treasures to her and filled her days with much happiness.
Ruth and Alvin were active members of Northridge Church in Sabetha, Kansas where they attended weekly worship service and Sunday School. She loved her Sunday School Class and always looked forward to seeing them and often commented how much she missed them when they were traveling.
Alvin and Ruth shared 66 years in marriage. When he died in 2014, she remained in the duplex in Sabetha for three years where she looked forward to visits from her children, grandchildren, and occasional church family.
She moved to Maple Heights Nursing Home in Hiawatha, Kansas in October, 2017. She became a member of the United Church of Christ in Fairview, Kansas where she attended church and bible study when she could.
Alvin and Ruth had five children, Wallace (Dona) Meyer, Independence, Missouri, Sheryl (Dennis) Kelly, Boise, Idaho, Barbara (Bill) Donnelly, Olathe, Kansas, Darrel (Jane) Meyer, Kansas City, Kansas, and Lori (Bill) Rieger, Powhattan, Kansas.
Ruth is preceded in death by her husband, Alvin; her parents, Helene and Marcus; her siblings, Edward, Burnette, Gertrude, and Duane; and one grandchild, Timothy Hudgins.
She leaves behind her five children and their spouses; her seventeen grandchildren; her thirty-four great-grandchildren; her three great-great- grandchildren; her three sisters; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Ruth was a kind, loving, and gracious woman and was loved by all who knew her. She will be greatly missed.
A private family funeral service will be held on Monday, March 15, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at the United Church of Christ in Fairview, Kansas. The funeral service will be live streamed for the public on the United Church of Christ – Fairview, Facebook page.
Viewing will be open to the public on Sunday, March 14, 2021 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Popkess Mortuary Chapel in Sabetha, Kansas.
Interment will be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, March 15, 2021 in the Sabetha Cemetery and the public is invited to attend. Memorial contributions may be made to the United Church of Christ in Fairview, Kansas sent in care of Popkess Mortuary, 823 Virginia Street, Sabetha, Kansas 66534.