Ruth Kuechenmeister — Austin

Ruth Kuechenmeister, 92, passed peacefully on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012, at The Cedars of Austin.

Ruth was born May 23, 1920, in Janesville, Wis., to Edith and Earl Metcalf. She attended college at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where she received her bachelor's degree in home economics and met her future husband, Hugo "Bud" Kuechenmeister.

Ruth married Hugo on Aug. 2, 1942, a few days before his entering the U.S. Army. Shortly after the end of WWII, Ruth moved to Austin, where Hugo had landed a job with the George A. Hormel Company. Eventually they built their dream home in a wooded country setting next to Otter Creek, just outside of Lyle, where they lived for over 30 years.

Ruth was an active contributor to the community throughout her life in both Austin and Lyle, and was an active member of many local clubs and organizations. In the early years she volunteered as a Sunday school teacher at the Congregational Church, helped establish and became a long-time active member of the Red Cross Grey Ladies at St. Olaf Hospital (now the Austin Medical Center).

In later years Ruth served on the Southeastern Regional Healthcare Council, was an active member and one time President of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) as well as the Austin Floral Club. Ruth was also instrumental in the revitalization of the Lyle Township Hall, establishment of the Lyle Public Library and knitted over 600 stocking caps which she donated through her church to the needy. Ruth loved raising African violets as well as Springer Spaniels and would often be seen with a Springer by her side.

Ruth is survived by her sons David and Phillip. She was preceded in death by her husband Hugo and her brother Earl "Sherm" Metcalf.

Ruth's wishes were that people remember her as they knew her and she did not want any visitations or a formal funeral. Interment will be conducted privately by her surviving family.

In lieu of flowers or other remembrances, Ruth would have wanted contributions to go to the Upper Midwest Chapter of the English Springer Rescue America, Inc., organization.

Clasen-Jordan Mortuary is assisting with arrangements.