Ruth E. Mitchell, age 80, passed away peacefully on Thursday, December 22, 2016, at her home while surrounded by her loving family and under the care of Ministry Home Care Hospice. She was born on March 11, 1936 to the late Paul and Shirley (Wedin) Raarup in Ashland, WI. Ruth attended and graduated from Washburn High School and went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in Arts at Gustavus Adolphus College. She met and fell in love with Jim Mitchell, and the two exchanged vows on July 31, 1959 in Washburn, WI. He survives.
Ruth began her career teaching in Superior, WI, before moving to Green Bay and teaching at Kewaunee. In 1966, Jim and Ruth moved to Merrill, where they started their family. Ruth started teaching at Merrill High School as a substitute teacher in the Phy. Ed Department.
Tradition was very important to Ruth. She put her family first and foremost in her life and cherished her time spent with them. Ruth was very proud of her children and grandchildren. Ruth is remembered as a very loving and caring mother and grandmother, and had an infectious positive spirit and an incredible smile! Friends were also very important to Ruth. She attended and thoroughly enjoyed the Tug Lake Bible Study Group and her Social Topics Study Group. She loved spending holidays with her family and friends. Ruth loved to travel, especially going to Alaska, where her son would take her boating. She enjoyed knitting and reading novels in her spare time, as well as enjoying her flower gardens and flower pots and baskets at her home. Ruth loved caring for her flowers and she was very proud of them. She was a wonderful cook and would cook for family gatherings. Ruth enjoyed being social, outgoing and she always kept busy. She was a member of the Foundation Board at Good Samaritan Hospital in Merrill and a member, as well as a choir member, at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Merrill. Ruth loved participating in her church – she was a good Christian woman. She will be sadly missed.
Ruth is survived by her loving husband: Jim Mitchell of Irma, son: Mark (Roslyn) Mitchell of Anchorage, Alaska, daughter: Kathryn (Kevin) Niewolny of Wausau, grandchildren: Melissa (Nate) Huckabay and Joseph and Claire Niewolny, great grandchildren: Madison and Maija Huckabay, brother: Dennis (Sharon) Raarup, sister: Shirley (Charles) Cooke and numerous nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her parents: Paul and Shirley Raarup and brother: Gerald Raarup.
Funeral Services for Ruth will be held on Friday, January 6, 2017 at 11am at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Merrill. Pastor Phil Schnieder will officiate. Visitation will be held on Thursday, January 5, 2017 from 4pm-8pm at Waid Funeral Home in Merrill and again on Friday, January 6, 2017 at 10am until the time of the service, at the church. Burial will follow the service and take place at Woodlawn Cemetery in the town of Rock Falls. In lieu of flowers, please direct memorials in Ruth’s name to Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Merrill. Waid Funeral Home of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.waidfuneral.com.