Ruth Lillian (Koehler) Dede, 85, of Watertown, died suddenly Friday while on an afternoon drive with her husband, Albert. An afternoon drive was an activity she still loved even after Alzheimer’s disease had taken so much of her life’s enjoyment.
Ruth grew up in Detroit, MI, with her mother, Clara, and siblings Doc, Ted, and Dorothy, where her father, Louis Koehler, was a Missouri Senate Lutheran pastor. She attended River Forest Lutheran Teacher’s College and met Albert, the love of her life. They lived in the Midwest and in 1965, settled in Watertown, WI, where she later graduated summa cum laude at UW-Whitewater.
Ruth was a public school teacher in the Watertown school system for many years. She taught at Lincoln, Concord, Douglas and Lebanon Public, but most of her years were spent at Schurz school where she taught sixth grade. She took pleasure in doing anything creative. She loved to quilt and sew. Ruth drew, painted and loved rosemaling, scherenschnitte, painted eggs, and she made quilts for World Relief.
Above all other interests was her love for God and her family. She enjoyed teaching Bible studies, playing piano, singing and so many other things. Ruth and Albert enjoyed many summers with friends and family, traveling into their retirement years. She cherished her family and kept in contact with them regularly until her mind began to fail. She loved flowers and the entire outdoors. Even to the end, she spent days marveling at God’s creation.
She is survived by her husband Albert and their four children, Allan Dede (Judy) of Ellsworth, ME; Carole Dede of Milwaukee, WI; Laurel Friedl (Mike) of Watertown; and Rachel Bernhard (Kent) of Monroe, NC; 11 grandchildren Uriah, Bethany, Jasmine, Stacie, Tresca, Noel, Ira, Zachary, Griffen, Emily, and Gabriel; and two great grand children Kanon and Madeleine.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00AM on Wednesday, at St. Peters Lutheran Church of Lebanon with Rev. David Groth of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church of Watertown presiding. Family and friends are invited to attend a visitation on Tuesday from 5:00PM – 7:00PM at Pederson-Nowatka Funeral Home and then on Wednesday from 10:00AM until the time of service at the Church.
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