Madison-Ruth "Rufus" Taylor, 93, passed away on Monday, September 05, 2016 at Oakwood Village in Madison.

She was born on October 17th, 1922 in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin and was the eldest daughter of Chester and Ida (Erickson) Underwood.

Ruth had a great love of children and devoted herself to the care and education of children. At an early age she was a nanny to the Gunderson and Breckler children. She attended Platteville State Teachers College where she majored in education and was also named "Athlete of the Year". Ruth worked as a lifeguard, camp counselor and was also offered a place on a travelling women's professional basketball team. She had a long career as a teacher of developmentally disabled children. Ruth married Fitch Taylor on August 2nd, 1953. They were married for 46 years.
Survivors include sister, Betty (Max) Rosenbaum, Madison, WI, brother, Chet (Lee) Underwood, Mt. Horeb, WI, half brothers, Paul (Sarah) Underwood, Miami, FL and Kenneth Underwood, Panama, and two sisters-in-law, Mary Lou Underwood and Dorothy Mae Rasmussen. Also surviving are her four children Craig of New Brighton, MN; Kim Rufus of Madison, WI; Kent (Ellen) of Bourbonnais, IL and Selah of Staples, MN. Grandchildren are Mandilea Bandt, Jessie Hammarlund, Katie (Jerry) Hoopman, James (Jessica) Thoele, Gabriel Taylor, Noel Taylor, Christian Taylor, Zachary Taylor, Siri Taylor and Anna Noreen. Great grandchildren are Tucker Christensen, Ashley and Alyssa Amavisca, Bradley and Jonathon Hoopman, Aurora Thoele, and Alarin Thoele.

Preceding her in death were her parents; her husband, Fitch; and her brothers, George, Lyle, Donald, and LeRoy and half-brother Raymond Underwood.
Ruth loved to play cards, garden, travel, and to play sports. She was an avid Madison Scouts fan and volunteer fundraiser. She played softball into her late 50s. Most of all Ruth loved spending time with her grandchildren and family.

A memorial service will be held at Sunset Memorial Gardens, 7302 Mineral Point Road, Madison, WI at 10:00 AM Saturday, Sept. 17.

Memorials may be made in Ruth's name to Alzheimer's & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin, 517 N. Segoe Road Suite 301, Madison WI 53705.

Please share your memories at

Cress Funeral and Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road, Madison