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Ruth C. Papke Obituary


Memories & Candles

“Ruth was one in a million. I really think I loved Ruth as much as my mother, that we lost far too soon. Always loved going with dad to visit Ruth and...Read More »
1 of 6 | Posted by: Timothy Lingard - Marshalltown, IA

“Dear Erin & Brian, Your mother was a beautiful and friendly woman who went out of her way to visit with people and give a kind word and a wonderful...Read More »
2 of 6 | Posted by: Tricia Blake - Friend

“Ruth was such a loving mom and always gave her best. What a sense of humor and always smiling, willing to help anyone. My thoughts and prayers are...Read More »
3 of 6 | Posted by: Belinda Luko-Olson (Linda) - IA

“Erin and Brian, I will always remember your mother's beautiful smile, laughter, and her hugs. Her love for her family, animals, nature, and...Read More »
4 of 6 | Posted by: Jeannie Larkin - Friend

“Erin and Brian, I am so sorry to hear about your mom. My thoughts and prayesrs are with you both. ”
5 of 6 | Posted by: Nina Werth Kaegbein - IA

“Ruth was always there to run us kids where ever we wanted. I don't think I can ever remember a time she wasn't smiling. My prayers go to her family...Read More »
6 of 6 | Posted by: Cindy Danford Kuehn - Snohomish, WA


Ruth C. Papke, 87, passed away Thursday, March 31, 2011, at Crestview Acres in Marion, after a long illness with Alzheimer’s disease.

As per Ruth’s wishes, there will be no services. Iowa Cremation is in charge of arrangements.

Ruth Colleen Lingard was born July 3, 1923, on the family farm in Dundee, to William and Matilda (Zemanek) Lingard.

She attended schools in Cedar Rapids and Marion. Upon graduation from high school, she joined the U.S. Marines. She completed basic training in North Carolina, and was stationed in Hawaii and overseas. Ruth loved her country and proudly served over three years.

Before marriage and motherhood, Ruth sang in nightclubs, and toured with several big bands. She so loved music! A gifted singer, she even recorded three records!

On February 11, 1954, Ruth married William D. Papke at the Little Brown Church in Nashua. Together they had three children: Gary, Erin and Brian.

Ruth worked hard her whole life; as a waitress at The Gas Lamp and at the Roosevelt; on the production line at Wilson Foods, and finally retiring after 40 years employment with Rockwell Collins.

Ruth enjoyed traveling, having visited every state and several countries; though she loved to come home to Iowa! She had a true zest for life and loved to socialize. She made sure that her children had many adventures across the country; seeing the beauty of America and meeting many wonderful people!

Ruth loved God and it was her enduring faith, her devotion to her family and her love of life, that kept her going through her many health issues.

Ruth’s quick wit, kindness and generosity touched many lives. Our mother taught us to love and respect all living creatures. She loved nature, and tending her yard and garden. She was a wonderful cook, seamstress and artist. She was our cherished Mother, caring friend to many and the bravest person we knew!

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, William, in 2001; her infant son, Gary, in 1956, and numerous relatives, friends, and beloved pets.

Ruth is survived by her daughter, Erin K. Papke of Cedar Rapids and her son, Brian D. Papke of Alameda, California.

Even during her struggles with Alzheimer’s she recognized God’s clarity. She learned how easy it is for people to gather in fair weather and good times, but it is the people who stay when times are bad, who hold your hand through the storms, that are the true friends. This was her light in the darkness. God provided these “Angels on Earth” to help guide her on her journey. They helped ease her pain and brought her joy, and for that, we are truly thankful! To Kevin and Julee Taylor, Jeannie Larkin, Tricia Blake, Dick and Rick Parsons, Denise Leas and the ladies at Aggie O’Shears, Lyle and Shirley Miller, and most of all, Debra Miller (who is the epitome of a loyal friend!); we sincerely thank you. You treated our Mother with the respect, caring and love that she truly deserved. We would also like to thank the caring staff at Crestview and Iowa Hospice. God bless you all!

You may contact the family c/o Erin Papke, 2033 Coldstream Avenue NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402 or call (319) 363-4455.

Ruth believed that there is always, ALWAYS something to be thankful for. To count our blessing every day; to tell someone that you love them; and SMILE!

We will miss you, Mammaw, but we thank God for the gift of you in our lives! We look forward to seeing your beautiful face in Heaven someday.

“Loved you then, love you still, always have, always will.”