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Life Story / Obituary
Ruth Scheer lived over nine decades in this life, and during each one, she lived with joy, love, and grace. She found great delight in embracing the wonder of the precious children in her life, and this quality provided Ruth with peace. Ruth was a caring wife, a loving mother, and a cherished grandmother and friend to all, and we will never forget her.
In a year when Calvin Coolidge stepped into the country's leadership role as the 30th president, many historical events were recorded. The United States was working hard to recover from World War I, and the nation's economy was struggling to find its stride. Abroad, Sweden began making domestic life easier with the sale of the first refrigerator. The sounds of Louis Armstrong were enjoyed by many, and for the first time, women flaunted one piece swimsuits in public. Closer to home, in the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Fred and Frances (Woolworth) Calkins were about to add a new life to their family. In 1923, just days before Valentine's Day, on February 11th, Ruth was welcomed into the world.
Born before her, she had a few siblings already established for immediate entertainment. Following her life's debut, she helped the older children welcome a few more. This place in the family officially made her a middle child. Her parents worked hard to give the family a good life. Her father worked on paint and wallpaper jobs, and her mother was a homemaker creating as much stability as one can with 7 children under one roof. The walls of their home, on Dean St. NE, held many memories of the young family.
Ruth enjoyed her childhood and attended the local elementary school. As she matured, she went to Creston High School, but she left after 10th grade. She went straight to work and also helped out her mother in the home. Before she turned twenty years old, she met the love of her life. In 1942, Ruth looked forward to attending a dance downtown. It was there that William Scheer caught her eye and captured her heart. Ruth learned that William was from Missouri and worked in a factory in Grand Rapids. The two quickly fell in love. On June 26, 1943, in Rosegarden of the Justice of the Peace located on Broadway, the happy couple became husband and wife.
The newlyweds chose to forego a honeymoon and settled into married life by renting an apartment also located on Broadway. The adventures of parenthood came upon them soon after they shared vows. Over the next 18 years, Ruth and William welcomed the births of 5 children. Gloria, William, Robert, Herbert, and Cindy each brought new life into the family home. Soon, it was evident that the family was beginning to outgrow the home, so they moved to 28 Caledonia St. NE for more space. In 1968, William, Ruth, Herbi, and Cindy moved 2127 Prospect St. NE which is where they permanently established themselves.
Ruth was an amazing mother. People often say this about mothers, but Ruth genuinely fit the role. Every day, her children enjoyed lunches made to order with their individual names printed on the front of each lunch bag. Ruth was efficient with bath time, for the tub was filled once and each child, one right after the other, was bathed. The kids would look forward to the days when they would walk the railroad tracks to Choo Choo Grill for a sack of hamburgs. They would swiftly bring them home where Ruth would be waiting with homemade french fries. On other nights, their mouths watered with the delicious smells of her famous chili or sloppy joes. She was also known to be bring famous potato salad and multi colored party sandwiches. Truly notable, however, were her daily fresh baked cookies which were always kept in the cookie jar in the kitchen (Bill Sr. was not a fan of the store bought variety!).
When she was not filling their tummies with food, she involved herself in their many activities. She was a campfire leader and was always willing to go along with their reasonable wishes. She even fulfilled their requests to visit Cedar Point even though she never stepped foot on any of the rides. It was thrill enough for Ruth to see her children enjoy themselves. Each year, she and Cindy would go to see the Osmonds when they were in town. The whole family embarked on several camping adventures which led them to Pioneer Park and Grand Haven. Many memories were shared during the annual trip to Missouri where they would visit family.
As their children matured and found lives of their own, Ruth and William found they had more time on their hands. Ruth kept herself quite busy. She loved to bowl, even when the kids were younger, and participated in many different leagues throughout the years. She stayed in one particular league for 40 years. She also began a collection of rooster and chicken figurines which are now left behind to keep Ruth in our memories. If all else failed, Ruth was known to enjoy shopping for clothes, and Kohls or Meijer were among her favorite stores. She also found spiritual peace as a member of North Park Presbyterian Church.
True joy was felt in Ruth's heart when she was given the gift of becoming a grandmother. She and William were blessed with 9 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. The new generation of young lives was Ruth's whole world. She loved spending time with them, and she would often babysit them when the need arose.
The joys of health and new life were interrupted when William was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in his mid 60's. Ruth cared for him in their home until he passed away in 1993. With the love and support of her family, Ruth held her memories of William close to her heart and found the goodness in life again. She remained in their family home until 2011 when she moved to Yorkshire Manor.
After 94 years of life, Ruth Scheer passed away on Saturday, July 15, 2017, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her legacy of abundant love for her family will never be forgotten. We will look to one another and our memories of Ruth to find some comfort in our sadness. Ruth will be greatly missed.
SCHEER (CALKINS) – Ruth Scheer aged 94, of Grand Rapids, passed away on Saturday, July 15, 2017. She was preceded in death by her husband, William Scheer Sr.; grandson, Geoff Buelow; and her siblings: Al (Mae) Calkins, Ethel (Benjamin) Dubinskas, Gladys (Harold) Helsel, Eugene (Ruth) Calkins, Floyd Calkins, and Joyce Langford. Ruth is survived by her children, Gloria (Ronald) DeVries, William (Kathleen) Scheer Jr., Robert Scheer, Herbert (Nancy) Scheer, and Cindy (David) Hammer; 9 grandchildren; Kelly (Chris) Flietstra, Tracie (Michael) Adams, Michael (Melinda) Scheer, Philip (Shelly) Scheer, Robert Buelow, Craig DeVries, Mark (Heather) DeVries, Alex (Veronica) Hammer, and Carly (Mark) Sullivan. Also 13 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Ruth loved being around children, especially babies. She also was the longtime cook at GRPS. The Funeral Service will be held at 2 PM on Tuesday July 18, 2017 at Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes, 1833 Plainfield NE. Friends are invited to visit with her family from 6-8 PM on Monday at the funeral home. Interment in Fairplains Cemetery. Contributions in her memory may be made to North Park Presbyterian Church. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to read her lifestory, archive a memory, photo, or sign the guestbook online.