Ruth Aschbrenner, 98, Marshfield, died peacefully with loving family at her side, on June 23, 2021, while under the care of Heartland Hospice at Aster Assisted Living Center in Marshfield, WI.
Ruth was born in Ripon, Wisconsin, on March 13, 1923, at her parent's home. She was the second child of Anton and Anna (Schulz) Hammen who lost their first-born child, a son, Roland Frank Hammen, in infancy. The family moved to Wausau in 1925 where Ruth attended school, graduating from Wausau Senior High School, class of 1941. She was employed at Employers Mutual Insurance Home Office in the statistics department for six years. Ruth was a member of the newly formed Employers Mutual Company Chorus and was active in the YWCA, serving on the Board of Directors as secretary.
During World War Two, Ruth sang in a quartet at the Grand Theater in Wausau to help raise funds for war bonds. She was in demand as a singer, and after the war, she was once scheduled to sing at four weddings on one Saturday. She also did volunteer work for the Red Cross.
On June 1, 1946, Ruth married Glenn F. Aschbrenner at St. Paul's Evangelical Church in Wausau, with Ruth’s uncle, Rev. Clarence Hammen, officiating. Glenn had served as a P-51 Mustang fighter pilot in World War Two flying 68 combat missions, including the Battle of the Bulge, from bases in England, France, and Belgium. After the war, he enlisted in the Air Force Reserve, serving for 30 years at weekly sessions attaining the rank of Lt. Col. at retirement.
They lived in Rothschild where Glenn was Manager of Manufacturing at the Muskegon Piston Ring Company in Schofield. They were also part owners of the Radiant Court Motel in Rothschild with Ruth's parents.
Ruth and Glenn have two sons, Leigh and Jim, and a daughter Sue Elaine who died in 1958 at age 7.
For decades, Ruth's aunt, Mathilde Schulz, lived with Ruth and Glenn. Mathilde died in 1975 at age 90. Ruth's father lived close to Ruth and Glenn in Rothschild and spent time daily with the family.
Over the years, Ruth did volunteer work. She was a Den Mother with the Cub Scouts, a poll worker at elections, and a volunteer life member at the Wausau Hospital Center. In addition, she served on the Human Services Board for Marathon, Langlade, and Lincoln counties. As her high school class secretary, she was on the class reunion committee until their last reunion, the 70th.
She was active in the Peace United Church of Christ in Schofield where she served as secretary of the church council, financial secretary, and was a member of the women’s group, building committee, and held positions at the district and state level. Both Ruth and Glenn sang in the church choir with Ruth a featured soloist, singing at funerals and weddings.
Ruth was interested in family history, compiling several volumes of genealogy with added newspaper clippings, photographs, and her memories.
She enjoyed golfing with Glenn and with a women's group. Ruth and Glenn also belonged to a card group that met in Rothschild and Wausau. She was artistic, creating keepsakes through embroidery and rosemaling She learned how to cane chairs from her father. Throughout her life, she kept in touch with friends and relatives with her cards and letters.
Ruth and Glenn enjoyed attending their grandchildren’s activities in Marshfield. They were present for Boy Scout, school, and college programs and graduations. They attended many track and cross country meets. They were able to join the family for most holidays and birthdays.
After Glenn's retirement, they moved to their home on Lake Nokomis in Tomahawk in 1984, joining the First Congregational Church in Rhinelander and singing in the choir. During these years they had more time for golf, boating, and spending time with family and friends. They also traveled throughout the United States and took trips to Hawaii and Alaska. They wintered in Arizona and spent time with son, Jim, and his family in California.
Later, they moved from Tomahawk to a condo in Weston. Following Glenn's death in 2009, Ruth moved to Marshfield in 2012 to be closer to family.
Ruth is survived by her two sons Leigh (Linda) of Marshfield, WI, and Jim (Lynn) of Irvine, CA. Ruth is further survived by three grandsons, Ryan (Kelly) Aschbrenner of Nashua, NH; Nicholas (Sarah) Aschbrenner of St. Paul, MN; Ricky (Emily) Aschbrenner of Irvine, CA, and one granddaughter Lacey (Nick) Sottosanto of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. Great-grandchildren are August and Ida Aschbrenner of St. Paul, MN, and Lysiane Sottosanto of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA.
Services are being held at the Peace United Church of Christ in Schofield on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. Visitation will be held from 9:00 am until the time of service at 11:00 am. Ruth will be laid to rest privately at Pine Grove Cemetery, Wausau. Memorials in Ruth's name can be directed to the Peace United Church of Christ, 1530 Grand Avenue, Schofield, WI 54476. Masks and social distancing will be observed.
The family is grateful for the dedicated staff at the Aster Assisted Living Center in Marshfield, WI, and the Heartland Hospice for the care they provided Ruth.