Willy Ruef, age 77, passed away on Sunday, April 2, 2017 at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison.
He was born on May 9, 1939 in Switzerland to his parents Wilhelm and Clara (Trachsel) Ruef, and in 1951 he and his family immigrated to the United States. Willy was proud of his Swiss heritage and loved to tell stories of his early childhood. Willy graduated from New Glarus High School in 1958. On August 14, 1960 he was united in marriage to Annette Rothermel in Monroe.
Also in 1960 Willy began working at Zemp’s Meat Market in New Glarus which he purchased in 1966, eventually becoming Ruef’s Meat Market which he operated until handing over the reins to his son Bill in 1999. Willy was very active in New Glarus where he served as an EMT for 15 years. He was especially proud of his role as Grandpa in the Heidi play from 1965 to 2006. In 2013 he was given the New Glarus Heritage Award. Willy loved nature and fishing at his retreat “Up North”. He was also an avid fan of all Wisconsin sports, enjoyed playing Baetli, and watching classic TV Westerns. Most of all he loved his family and will be dearly missed by them and his beloved canine companion Sammee.
Willy is survived by his wife Annette of New Glarus, sons Randy (April) Ruef of Machesney Park, IL and Bill (Jessica) Ruef of New Glarus, grandsons Jacob, Peter, Adam, and Dylan. He is further survived by his brothers Walter Ruef and Fred (Carol) Ruef, sister Frieda Ruef, sister-in-law Carol Ruef, and nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother Hugo.
A Celebration of Life will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at Toffler’s Pub & Grill, 200 Fifth Ave., New Glarus, WI.
The Zentner-Beal Funeral Home of New Glarus is assisting the family.
An online memorial with guestbook is available at www.bealfuneralhomes.com.
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