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Ruby Lavon Ritchie

Published On: Jan 09 2013 09:19:02 AM CST   Updated On: Jan 09 2013 09:19:21 AM CST

MADISON-Ruby Lavon Ritchie, age 86, went to be with her Lord and Savior, on Sunday January 5, 2013. She passed away peacefully in her sleep at home surrounded by her loving family, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.

Ruby was born the oldest of 3 children, on the family farm in Crawford County on November 7, 1926. She was the daughter of Walter and Dora Roth. She graduated from Boscobel High School in 1944. She moved to Madison, holding various jobs until she met her future husband, Floyd, on a blind date set up by her sister. They were married on June 1, 1950 in a double wedding ceremony with her sister. She then focused on raising her 3 children.

She spent many years providing daycare in her home for countless children whom she loved as her own. She is a founding member of the Blackhawk Church, which is now one of the largest churches in Wisconsin. She served as pianist for the church, and Sunday school teacher. She continued to prepare weekly bulletins for the church services until recently, and invited small groups into her home for weekly meetings.

She enjoyed working in her garden, and with her flowers, along with canning, freezing, and sharing their multitude of raspberries. She wrote thousands of letters and postcards over the years to give cheer and encouragement to friends, family, and church members who were experiencing illness, loss, or loneliness. She spent many hours volunteering for the Foodshare of Wisconsin program, and spent numerous hours visiting her neighbors, house-to house, to help establish the Glen Oak Hill Neighborhood Association. Her moment of joy came when she recently received a Citation by the Legislature, for her endless work in her community.

Ruby is survived by her loving husband of 62 years, Floyd, daughters Diane (Jerry) Schutz of Waunakee, Robin (Paul) Wipperfurth of Poynette, and son Kevin (Sheroll) Ritchie of Wheaton, IL. Ruby has 7 grandchildren, Talia and Blake Schutz, Renee (Jon) Kotek, Vic (Kaia) Wipperfurth, Derek (Stephanie) Wipperfurth, and Faith and Connor Ritchie. She is also survived by her sister Doris Smith of Holmen. Ruby is preceded in death by her parents, and brother Walter.

Ruby's family would like to give special thanks to Dr. Steven Barczi, for the care he has given Ruby over the years. To Joanne Elfmann and Rebecca Parkes of Agrace Hospice Care, the love and support you have shown to mom and our family has taught us all how to finalize our last days with grace and dignity. To the many friends, wonderful neighbors, and family who have given us endless support and prayers during mom's illness, we thank you.

A celebration of Ruby's life will be held on Saturday January 12, 2013 at Blackhawk Free Church 9620 Brader Way, Middleton, WI. A visitation will be from 9:30 -11:00 am, with a service following at 11:00 am. Pastor Chris Dolson will be presiding. A luncheon at the church will follow the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Agrace Hospice Care, or the Dane County Humane Society.

Cress Funeral & Cremation Service

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