Ruth Elaine Thesing, RN, 75, died peacefully on Friday, December 30, 2016 under the gentle care of the Hospice House of the Eastern Upper Peninsula in Sault Ste. Marie, MI after a courageous fight with cancer. Ruth was born on February 5, 1941 to the late William and Helen (Kreutzer) Betlach in Marienthal, KS.
Ruth graduated Salutatorian from Leoti High School in 1958. She then attended St. Mary of the Plains College in Dodge City, KS and the St. Joseph School of Nursing in Wichita, KS from where she graduated in May 1962 beginning her lifelong nursing career. She married Gary Thesing on May 25, 1963, in Garden City, KS having met in college.
Ruth was a devoted mother raising her two children to love learning, appreciate hard work, and enjoy friendly competition. She loved her grandchildren with all her heart and leaves them with wonderful memories of playing, baking, sewing, and outdoor sports such as snowshoeing and tennis, as well as a deep appreciation for nature.
Ruth’s continual pursuit of excellence carried throughout her life as she obtained her B.S.N. from Lake Superior State University in 1980. She graduated top of her class while still raising her children. Ruth loved nursing and was especially passionate about her 15-year career as a Community Health Nurse for the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians in Sault Ste. Marie, MI. She specialized in diabetes care and care of the elderly. Her patients spoke frequently of her kind, considerate, and professional manner.
When arriving with her family to the Soo in 1971, Ruth immediately became involved in the community joining the St. Joseph Catholic Church choir. Through the years, she not only sang in various church and community choirs but she also helped organize their efforts. Ruth was a passionate tennis player and loved to bring together her friends for weekly matches as well as to compete in the city league. She was a 25 year volunteer and board member for Sault Ste. Marie’s Hospice program. In May 2010, she was honored as their Hospice Volunteer of the Year.
Ruth is preceded in death by her parents, her brother William Betlach, and her sister Connie Simon.
Ruth is survived by her husband Gary, her son, Michael (Michelle) of Tucker, GA, and her daughter, Tonya Kjerland of Northfield, MN; her grandchildren, Benjamin and Annika Thesing of Tucker, GA and Cayenne and Nicholas Kjerland of Northfield, MN; her sisters Juanita (Jerry) Simonds of Grand Island, NE, Twila (Gerald) Simon of Las Vegas, NV, Yvonne (Kenneth) Wittreich of Fort Collins, CO and brother-in-law, Marvin (Connie) Simon; as well as several nieces and nephews. She also leaves behind numerous close friends.
Vigil Service will be at 7:00 pm Friday, January 20, 2017 at Ziegler Funeral Chapel, Dodge City. Graveside service will be at 10:00 am Saturday, January 21, 2017 at St. John Cemetery, Spearville, with Fr. Thomas Simonds, S.J. presiding. Visitation will be Friday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm at Ziegler Funeral Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer contributions to Sacred Heart School Endowment or Hospice of the Prairie both in care of Ziegler Funeral Chapel, 1901 N. 14th Ave., Dodge City, Kansas 67801.