Ruth Marjorie (Venard) Plunkett, 94, passed away Saturday, June 9, 2012, in La Crosse, Wis.
Ruth was born Feb. 12, 1918, in Beloit, Kan., to James and Cora Venard.
She was preceded in death by both her parents, her siblings, Vic (Catherine) Venard, Evelyn (Robert) Barker, Reva (Martin) Klotzbach, Irene (Delbert) Eshbaugh, and Elton Venard, whom died at age 15. Also, preceding her in death were her husband, Richard “Dick,” who died July 19, 1981, and two of her children, James “Jim” Plunkett of San Rafael, Calif., and Vicki (Don) Broyles of Tulsa, Okla.
She is survived by her son, Richard “Dick” Jr. of Sheridan; four grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Ruth grew up in Minneapolis, Kan., and graduated from Minneapolis High School in 1936.
She married Richard Plunkett on Aug. 27, 1936, and together they raised three children, Dick Jr., Vicki, and Jim.
Her husband served in the Navy during World War II and during this time, she resided in Salina, Kan.
Ruth attended Cosmetology School and worked as a hairdresser during their early years together.
When Dick returned from serving his country, their life’s journey led them to Gillette in 1946. They purchased and worked the Corner Drug Store until 1975. During that period, Ruth met a lot of wonderful people and made numerous lifelong friends. After Dick became ill, they sold the Corner Drug to longtime friend and employee Bill Fraser.
Ruth went on to work at a few other local businesses, such as Burke’s Jewelers, Pat’s Hallmark and First National Bank.
Ruth also volunteered at the Senior Center and Campbell County Memorial Hospital. She received numerous awards for her volunteer work and loved helping others and giving back to her community. She enjoyed her time at each place and made friends wherever she was.
Ruth lived a very active life, she was in a bowling league, she loved to cross-stitch, knit, crochet, quilt, and embroider. Her afghans and quilts were works of art. She loved to paint ceramics, play cards and garden.
Throughout her later years, she enjoyed walking her poodles Sambo and Dandee, who brought her much joy and companionship. Knowing that along with Ruth’s loved ones, Sambo and Dandee were there to greet her brings peace and a smile to her family.
Life was not always kind to Ruth, her husband was chronically ill and passed away at the age of 63 and her youngest son Jim, died suddenly at the age of 52 after a brief illness. Shortly after Jim‘s death, Ruth‘s daughter, Vicki, became ill and passed away at age 57.
Ruth moved to Cottonwood Falls, Kan., to return to her roots and be near her sister Irene. This is exactly what she needed, the two of them enjoyed several years of concerts, card parties, and red hat luncheons.
Eventually, Ruth moved to La Crosse to live near her granddaughter, Roxanne and her family. They enjoyed each others company for nine years before Ruth‘s passing.
She was a joy to all who were close to her and never spoke an ill word of anyone. She was a very important person in her granddaughters’ lives and they looked upon her as a mentor of life. Ruth was a genuinely good person and will be greatly missed.
The family hopes that all who knew Ruth would meet with them to say goodbye at Mount Pisgah Cemetery for a graveside service at 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 8, 2012.
A luncheon will follow the service at the cemetery shelter.