JoAnn Ruth, age 85, formerly of Delavan, WI, Alsip, IL, Crestwood, IL, passed from this life on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at Lakeland Health Care Center in Elkhorn, WI, with her family by her side. JoAnn was born to Benton Keith and Ann Catherine (Brenzie) Minnich on April 28, 1928 in Chicago, IL. She grew up in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago and attended St. Thomas the Apostle School. While in High School, her artistic abilities won her a scholarship at the Art Institute of Chicago. She loved drawing and painting, a passion she carried throughout her life.
Following in her mother's footstep, JoAnn attended nursing school. Nursing was her calling and she knew this from a young age. She graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1956 from St. Josephs's School of Nursing, and during her nursing career, worked at Kenosha Hospital, Kenosha, WI, Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL, and spent over 30 years at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, IL.
She was married to Oran Guy Cruzen in 1949 and Carl T. Ruth Jr. in 1957. These unions produced seven children, all of whom she loved very deeply.
When the physical side of nursing limited her capabilities, she went back to school to find a way to stay in the health care field. She began attending Oakton Community College in Des Plaines as a full-time student, and graduated again at the age of 59 with her degree in Medical Records.
She worked for 10 years at Oak Forest Hospital in Medical Records retiring in 1997. She moved up to Delavan, WI around this time and spent her remaining years living in a small cottage overlooking Delavan Lake. While living in Delavan, she continued to be active with her "St. Joe's" School of Nursing Class of '56 classmates, and enjoyed her activities with the Red Hatters, Retired Artist's Group, and the Alano Group.
JoAnn was preceded in death by both of her parents; her beloved sister and best friend Dawn Rieman Olczyk, a brother, Benton Minnich Jr., and daughters Carla Jean Ruth and Theresa Cruzen Martinka.
She is survived by her children Oran (Diane) Cruzen, Jr., Michael (Susan) Ruth, Patricia (Chris) Marsicano, Christina (Mark) Kakuk, and Laura (David) Piolatto; 13 grandchildren, many great-grandchildren, and loving nieces and nephews.
Funeral Services will be at 6:00pm on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at Monroe Funeral Home in Delavan, WI, with Father Fred Zagone officiating. Visitation will be held from 3:00pm until service time at 6:00pm at the funeral home. Burial will be at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Evergreen Park, IL. In lieu of flowers, memorials will be directed to the charity closest to JoAnn's heart. MONROE FUNERAL HOME is assisting the family. Visit us at monroefh.com.
She will be remembered as a wonderful nurse and a kind caring soul who helped others in need. She was loved by many.