Ruth Koffel Morris, 99, formerly of Kalamazoo, died peacefully, October 2, 2023, in Evanston, Illinois. Ruth was born June 8, 1924, in Kalamazoo Township, the only daughter of Ruth Kelly Koffel and William Lehr Koffel. She attended Western State Training School and High School (later University High School) where she was a member of the National Honor Society and graduated in 1942 as senior class valedictorian.
Ruth attended Western Michigan University as a freshman before transferring to Michigan State University. There, in 1946, she earned a B.S., with honors, in Vocational Education in Homemaking. At Michigan State, Ruth was a founding member and chapter president of Gamma Phi Beta sorority. She was a member of Phi Kappa Phi college honor society and Omicron Nu (later Kappa Omicron Nu) honorary society for human sciences. From 1946 to 1949, she was employed as a dietician and home economics teacher at John Borrows School, St. Louis, Missouri.
On June 25, 1949, Ruth married Kalamazoo attorney Richard Hughes "Dick" Morris. They raised their son and three daughters in Kalamazoo and at Gull Lake, Richland. The family belonged to First Presbyterian Church, Kalamazoo, where Ruth was a member of the John Dunning Guild and served as an Elder. She was active in many civic organizations, including Service Club (later the Junior League) of Kalamazoo, the Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Commission, and the Kalamazoo Art League.
For 35 years, she was an active member of Every Friday Club of Kalamazoo.
Always well dressed, Ruth was an excellent seamstress and upholsterer, and enjoyed crewel work. Her interest in architecture and interior decor inspired her to design the family home, built in 1962 on Woods Lake, Kalamazoo. Ruth and Dick loved to travel -first across the United States with their children and then on trips of their own throughout the world.
Dick died in Kalamazoo, November 7, 2008, aged 89. In 2011, Ruth moved to Presbyterian Homes at Westminster Place, a senior community in Evanston, Illinois, where she lived out her remaining years. Well into her 90s, Ruth remained a lively conversationalist whose energy belied her years.
In addition to her husband, Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, William Koffel, and John Koffel; and her grandson, William Barber. Ruth is survived by her children: Mary (the late Michael) Barber of Highland Park, Illinois; Martha (John) Graham of London, UK; Anne Knowles (husband Stephen Hornsby) of Belfast, Maine; and Steven Morris of Santa Barbara, California. Also surviving are eight grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and a large extended family.
In keeping with Ruth's wishes, there will be no formal memorial gathering. Ashes will be scattered at a later date. The family encourages donations in Ruth's memory to the Westminster Place New Hope Scholarship Fund in care of:
The Geneva Foundation of Presbyterian Homes
8707 Skokie Blvd., Suite 400
Skokie, IL 60077