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Ruth Elaine Kessler

June 19, 2020 | 7 comments

Ruth Elaine Kessler (nee Reiger), 93, of Onalaska, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully on June 16th, 2020.

She was born on May 1st, 1927 in the Town of Marietta, Wauzeka, Wisconsin.  She grew up on the family farm on Harris Ridge and attended the one-room Harris Ridge school.

She married William Kessler on June 22, 1946 and lived in Wauzeka, Lancaster, Oshkosh and Onalaska, WI.  They were married for just short of 60 years and had four children.  Family was first and foremost to her.  Ruth was a homemaker and a wonderful cook and baker.  She enjoyed playing cards with friends and family.  She especially reveled beating any of her four adult children in cribbage.  Her green thumb was evident in her lush vegetable and flower gardens.  She enjoyed her feathered bird friends and could identify them by sight and sound.  Her hidden talents included yodeling and playing the harmonica.

Ruth made her home at the OnaTerrace independent living facility in Onalaska for the past several years.  She was surrounded by supportive staff and residents.

She is survived by her children: Kevin Kessler (Sherry), of Lodi, WI; Sandra Rue, of Onalaska, WI; Sharon Weis (Don) of Geneva, IL; and Wendy Twite (Jay), of Onalaska, WI. She is also survived by 10 grandchildren: Aaron Kessler (Jessica), Kathryn Hunter (Steve), Molly Nitka (Jon), Edward Rue (Ana), Kirsten Johnson (Marc), Michelle Reinhardt (Vincent), Kristen Glover (Mike), Brenton Twite (Elizabeth), Ross Twite (Meghan), and Alexander Twite (Rachel) as well as 12 great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband William, two brothers, Frederick (Fritz) Reiger and Raymond Reiger, and two sisters, Martha Onstine and Shirley Holz.   She is survived by a sister-in-law, Ruth Reiger and a brother-in-law, Paul Holz.

A private family celebration of life will be held on June 29, 2020 at The Gathering Place, 133 Mason St., in Onalaska, WI at 11:00 am.  A graveside service will follow at the Wauzeka Cemetery at 4:00 pm that day.

On-line condolences for the family may be left at couleecremation.com

Memorials may be made to “Wauzeka Cemetary Association”, Peoples State Bank Wauzeka, Wisconsin 53826, in memory of Ruth Kessler.











  1. Don

    Kevin – so sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing
    God bless your family and stay safe
    Looking forward to the days when I can collect more sheepshead $$ from you and Aaron

    Don and Pat

  2. Barb and Gary Bronson

    Sorry to hear of the loss of your Mom. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers now and in the days ahead. God Comfort and Bless you.

    Gary and Barb (Mickelson) Bronson

  3. Joanne Moe

    Ruth was a very special Northern Sands condo neighbor. My husband and I had many fun times playing cards with her and Bill. She will be greatly missed!

  4. julie

    I knew Ruth from Ona-Terrace, she was one of the kindest people I knew.
    I only wish there were more kind people like Ruth, in a world of so much of everything going on, many Ruth’s are needed to spread the kindness we all need.

  5. Donna Goetzman

    Sandy, so sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. My sympathy to you and your family.

  6. Dean and Julie Harrison

    Kevin, Sandy, Sharon, and Wendy,

    So sorry the COVID-19 situation prevents my family traveling from Texas to Aunt Ruth’s celebration of life and her graveside service. It would have been wonderful to be with you and discuss happy memories of family times through the years. Aunt Ruth was a special, wonderful person, and she will be missed. Love and sympathy to you all.

  7. Jim Kessler

    We are so sad at Aunt Ruth’s passing. She was a blessing to everyone who knew her, setting a good example of someone who loved her husband, children, grand children and great grandchildren. Please know you are in our prayers! We will miss her indeed. Love, Jim & Lynn Kessler


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