Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ruth A (Ross) Nilles

Ruth A Nilles passed away on Saturday, October 18, 2014. She was born Ruth Adeline Ross in Madison, WI, on August 6, 1926. She was the second girl in a family of seven children who grew up severely affected by the Great Depression and her parents were determined to provide everything their children needed for a full, rewarding life. With her siblings, she studied dance from a very young age, and was known with them for their performances as “The Seven Little Rosses.”

An “A” student all her life, Ruth received full academic scholarships in the 1940s to attend UW-Madison and Edgewood College, as an English Major / Spanish Minor. She attended school until her marriage to James E. Nilles, also of Madison, in 1948. The couple moved to Racine in 1950 and have resided in Racine with cherished friends for nearly 65 years.

Ruth served on many committees and organizations in Racine, brining her unique gifts and meticulous care to everything. She was known as an excellent cook and baker, and helped establish River Bend Nature Center by giving cooking classes, especially as an advocate for healthful and Macrobiotic cooking. In the 1960s she served on a lay board that helped establish the Motherhouse of the Racine Dominicans at Siena Center; and was both a Cub Scout and a Girl Scout leader.

An avid golfer and tennis player in her younger years, Ruth loved the outdoors, especially sunny beaches and spending time “up at the Cabin” on their lake in Bayfield County, Wisconsin.

Ruth is survived by her husband, Jim; her sisters, Mary and Jean; and dear brothers-in-law Togue and Roger; and sisters–in-law, Joan, Ramona and Jan. She was predeceased by her four brothers, Roman, Joseph, Jerome and Earl; and a son, Andrew. She is also mourned by her children, Michael, Jeffrey (and Mary Carole), Peter, Jill (and Seyoum) and Jennifer; and by her beloved grandchildren and her step-grandsons, as well as many dear nephews and nieces.

A Memorial Mass will be held on Thursday, October 23, 2014, at 5 p.m. at Siena Center Chapel, 5635 Erie St., with Rev. Roger G. Nilles officiating. Relatives and friends may meet with the family Thursday at Siena Center Chapel from 4 p.m. until time of Mass at 5 p.m. Memorials to St. Catherine’s High School have been suggested.

803 Main St., Racine, WI   (262) 634-7888

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