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Welcome to the memorial page for

Ruth E. Hunter

October 12, 2015
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SOUTH BEND- Ruth E. Hunter, 95 died October 12 at Sanctuary at St. Paul’s.  Born in 1920, she was the eldest of the four children of Harvey and Odie Gass and grew up in Wauwatosa, WI.   In 1948, after teaching high school biology and working as a seed analyst, she married James A. Hunter, who preceded her in death in 2003.  Trained as a botanist, Ruth earned her Bachelor and Master’s Degrees from Marquette University where she financed her education by working nights as a telephone operator and attending classes by day.  She is survived by her daughters, Sister Phoebe A. Hunter, of Burnstown, Ontario, Canada and Jane E. Hunter of South Bend, as well her youngest sister, Alice  and brother-in-law Harry Paches;  brother-in law Lon Loebel, sister-in-law Joyce Gass and several nieces and nephews.  She was predeceased by her parents, sister Harriet Loebel, brother, Howard Gass, M.D. and nephew George H. Paches.

Formerly of Birmingham and Traverse City, Michigan, Mrs. Hunter moved to South Bend in 2013.  To her many friends, she will be remembered for her friendly, outgoing nature and energy.   Her myriad interests and pursuits included gardening, genealogy, and bird watching.  She was a dedicated seamstress who made all her own clothes and most of the soft furnishings for her homes as well as sewing and knitting for charitable organizations.  She became interested in rug making and weaving on her full size floor looms, often using yarn that she dyed herself with dyes she made from plants collected in the wilds or in her own garden.  She enjoyed classical music and continued to play piano duets with friends until her 93rd year.  She was an avid reader and student, regularly taking classes at the Senior College in Traverse City.  With her late husband, James, and two other couples, she helped found the Friends of the Library support organization after moving to Traverse City in the early 1980s.  For many years, she was also an adventuresome cook and baker, continuing to bake her own bread after her move to St. Paul’s.

As Ruth requested, cremation has taken place and a private memorial service will be held when her remains are placed next to those of her beloved husband of 55 years in the Garden of Remembrance at the First Congregational Church in Traverse City.  In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the South Bend Symphony or Traverse Symphony in Traverse City, MI; Fernwood Botanical Garden or Marquette University.  Her daughters wish to acknowledge the staff at St. Paul’s, her Hospice nurse, Marilee Hurdle  and especially her  team of outstanding care givers from Senior 1 Care with heartfelt thanks to Precious Parker, Marcy Smurr, Sharon Talcott and Morgan Mann for their excellent,  loving and conscientious care of their mother.

Arrangements are being handled by Palmer Funeral Home-River Park, South Bend, IN. Online condolences may be left at

 Service Information

Family to do services at later date

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