Ruth Keith

Ruth Keith

Ruth passed away Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at her home in Shelbyville.

She was born September 28, 1936 in Dorr Township to Charles and Effie Stankey. For over 25 years Ruth was head cook for Plainwell Public Schools until her retirement in 1993. In her spare time she enjoyed gardening, cooking and most of all spending time with her family. She was an active member of Peace Lutheran Church and served in the Ladies Guild. On October 9, 1954 in Grand Rapids she married James Keith who survives.

Also surviving are their children, Janet (Rodney) Kivell, Daniel (Sherry) Keith, Samuel Keith and Sarah (Rev. Stephen) Pope; 7 grandchildren, Ashley Kivell, Bailey Kivell, Heidi (Todd) Campbell, Tonya Keith, Joshua Keith, Andrew (Nicole) Pope and Ian Pope; 8 great-grandchildren and her siblings, Annette Smith and Charlie (DeAnn) Stankey.

She was preceded in death by her parents, and siblings, Peter Klunder and Sarah Mauck.

Friends may visit with Ruth’s family from 4-8 P.M. Thursday, October 1, 2015 at the Winkel Funeral Home in Otsego.

A Funeral Service will be held Friday, October 2, 2015 at 11:00 A.M. at Peace Lutheran Church in Otsego with Pastor Stephen Otto officiating. Following the service a luncheon will be held.

Burial will follow at Elmwood Cemetery in Wayland.

Contributions in memory of Ruth may be made to Peace Lutheran Church or to Wings of Hope Hospice.

Messages of condolence may be posted at

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Messages of Condolence

  1. Cindy Gordon says:

    My heart breaks for your loss. Ruth was like a second mother to me and I loved her like my own. I like to refer to her as our “camp councilor” in summers when she always found SOMETHING for “us kids’ to do… Condolences to all the Keith family. Keeping you in my heart during this difficult time.

  2. Sandi Culver says:

    Keith Family~ My prayers are with you now. Ruth was a wonderful woman and I have very fond memories of her. She was always laughing and very loving.

    I am so very sorry.

  3. Carolyn Jordan says:

    When I was at Starr Elementary School (as a student) I had the pleasure of working in the kitchen with Ruth & Lilly Townsend. They were amazing women & helped to enrich my life by the lessons I learned handling food, cleaning up after a meal & all the rest of what goes into serving food. Later, at Plainwell High School, I again had the privilege of working with Ruth in the kitchen. She was a devoted, hard working, loving, caring, “teacher” in the true art form of feeding 500 school kids & teachers. I have thought of her many times over the years & can still hear her laugh ringing through the PHS kitchen. My life has been made far more rich because of this lady.

    My prayers of God’s comfort to this family & her friends during this very difficult time. Ruth will always be a part of all the lives she touched. She was glad & easy to share God’s love with everyone she met. May she rest in His loving arms for all eternity knowing she was a good servant of God.

  4. Tammy Thompson-Drake says:

    God bless you all, so very sorry. You all are in our prayers, hold on to your beautiful memories!!

  5. Josh Keith says:

    I’m gonna miss you grandma you were the most strongest and caring and loving woman I have ever met. And you were a fighter and you have taught me to never give up in life and like always said if you don’t use it your gonna lose it. Well you have taught me more than you will ever know I’m gonna miss your smile and that white hair that dad was trying so hard to catch up to you get so you guys could match your hair together. You are gone but defintly not forgotten and you never will be! Thank you for being such an inspiration to me and your whole family we will all miss you but your still here in our thoughts and prayers god bless you grandma and till we meet again I love you!!

  6. Janice and Tom Handley says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. We will always remember that Ruth and Jim used to sit behind us every Sunday in church. I (Jan) traveled with the Keiths to Germany in 2000 with my daughter and a group of Lutherans. We enjoyed all the Martin Luther sites and the Passion Play at Oberamagau. Ruth was a fun person to be with.

  7. Carol Winkel Wuebbling says:

    Jim and Ruth Keith were pillars of the church family and raised four great kids. I was lucky enough to babysit those little ones often, and see how much love spread all around them.

    Through the years Ruth and Jim remained truly dedicated to each other and set the standard for Christian fellowship and acceptance.

    She will be missed LOTS.

  8. Tim and Theresa Campbell says:

    Heidi and Todd your grandmother will missed by everyone who knew her. She loved her grandchildren and great grandchildren. I will miss her smiling face and her kind words . Sending prayer and love.

  9. Vickie, Daniel Schneider and Joyce Langford says:

    So sorry for your loss. My mom and I both worked with Ruth in the kitchen at Starr school. Her special smile will be missed. Love you all.

  10. Sandra and Robert Aronstein says:

    We are so sorry you lost your beloved Ruth.She is at peace now and will always live in your hearts and minds.She was a great lady. Our condolences to the Keith family.

    Sandi and Bob Aronstein

  11. Nancy W Kessler says:

    Dear Janet,

    I knew your mom had been ill, but has kind of lost touch with you. I don’t get the Kalamazoo Gazette so didn’t see the Obituary, otherwise I would have come to the funeral..Some friends of Laurie Trutsch told her and she said she would have come too. Anyway My prayers are with you in this difficult time. I am not on Maple Street anymore or Judy would probably have told me. I had to downsize a bit and get somewhere that had a main floor laundry. I am enjoying apartment living!


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