Ruth E. Wollenburg

October 2, 2018

LAKE MILLS -- Ruth Elsie (Goers) Wollenburg, 93, Lake Mills, died at home on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018.

Ruth was born on May 27, 1925, in the town of Lake Mills. She was baptized at St. John Lutheran Church, Newville, on June 28, 1925. As a girl, she rode a horse-drawn sleigh to church in the winter. On Sunday afternoons, she loved to visit her grandparents at the farm in Lake Mills. There she heard stories of her great-grandparents who emigrated from Pomerania in the late 1800s and of her great-grandfather’s work harvesting ice for refrigeration from Rock Lake. When Ruth was 5 years old, her family moved into the city of Lake Mills. She attended St. Paul Lutheran School and was confirmed at St. Paul Lutheran Church on Palm Sunday 1937. She went on to Lake Mills High School where she made lifelong friends. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ruth taught high school history and economics in Wisconsin and Michigan. She married fellow teacher Arlyn Wollenburg. Ruth and her young family returned to Lake Mills in 1953. Ruth was a mother, substitute teacher and assistant librarian. She became head librarian at the L.D. Fargo Public Library in 1967. She held the position for 25 years until her retirement in 1992. Ruth oversaw the expansion of services to Lake Mills patrons as library systems developed, and was instrumental in the recovery and reconstruction of the library after the 1980 electrical fire.

From a young age Ruth enjoyed reading, gardening, sewing, swimming, biking and band music. She served at her church and in the community as a Sunday school teacher and as an officer of the Lake Mills Women’s Club, St. Paul Parent Teacher League, St. Paul Ladies Aid, Lakeside Ladies Guild and the Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society-Capitol District. Ruth served as president of the National Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society from 1987-1989. Ruth treasured the many friends she made throughout her life in her beloved Lake Mills. After retirement, Ruth had more time to enjoy old friends and make new ones. She also took writing classes and wrote a book of stories about her life so her children and grandchildren could enjoy her memories.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents Herman Goers Jr. and Elsie (Pigorsch) Goers; a sister, Dorothy Prust; two sons-in-law, Stephen Hintz and John Lockhart; and her former husband, Arlyn Wollenburg.

She is dearly missed by her sister, Rachel Goers; her children, Frederick (Karen) Wollenburg, Melvin (Debra) Wollenburg, Margaret Lockhart, Kathryn Hintz, Mary (David) Mays and James Wollenburg; 23 grandchildren and their spouses; 31 great-grandchildren; and friends of all ages.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Lake Mills. Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday at the church and also after 10 a.m. on Friday at the church until the time of service. Burial will be in St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery.

If desired, memorials may be made to the church or Rainbow Hospice.

Ruth’s family is thankful to the pastors and members of St. Paul Lutheran Church, her neighbors and friends, and the workers and volunteers at Rainbow Hospice for their prayers, help and encouragement for Ruth.


Claussen Funeral Home

416 W. Lake St. Lake Mills

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