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“Remember Our last visit at the home! From an old Munger school pal and nurse.Hulda Sommer Gast ”
1 of 4 | Posted by: A friend

“We are so sorry for your loss. My husband & I lived next to Ruth & Bill for several years, they were wonderful people. Our children used to call them...Read More »
2 of 4 | Posted by: Rick & Kim Gerard - Bay City, MI

“I am sorry for your loss. Drawing close to God at this most difficult time can help sustain you. ”
3 of 4 | Posted by: A friend

“A lot of memories Ruth. ”
4 of 4 | Posted by: Robert & Suezett Bourdon - MI


Ruth was born on August 4, 1924 on a farm near Munger, MI to Ralph and Delia Markel. She passed away on Monday, May 22, 2017. Ruth was the third of eight children, having three brothers and four sisters. Ruth attended St. Norbert's for grades 1-3. For grades 3-8, she attended the Whatchair one room school. She attended Central High School for grades 9-12 and went on to attend Mercy Central School of Nursing. Ruth graduated as an R.N. in 1945. Ruth also earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Central Michigan University, where she majored in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. Ruth joined General Hospital as a staff nurse in 1945. On March 17, 1946, Ruth Markel met William Claes. He was an accident patient brought in during her shift at the hospital. He required special nurses due to the seriousness of his injuries, and many said that he wouldn't make it through the night. He surprised them all, and Ruth and William were engaged on April 23, 1946. The couple was married on November 23, 1946 at St. Norbert Catholic Church in Munger. In 1950, Ruth and Bill purchased their home at 400 Patterson Ave. The home had just been built, and following their purchase Ruth and Bill made the finishing touches at the home and yard. In 1956, Ruth was promoted to Director of Nursing and remained in this position until 1966. At this point, Ruth resigned due to R.N. staffing problems. In 1966, Ruth joined the Department of Mental Health and started Daycare Center for Severely Retarded Children. Children were eligible for this program if they had an I.Q. score of 30 or below (Normal score: 100). This day center was open Monday-Friday, and the purpose was to provide parents with training, assistance and relief. As time went on, the name was changed to the Day Training Center. In 1974, the center changed from the oversight of the Department of Mental Health to the Department of Education. Ruth enjoyed her position as training aide, until her retirement in 1986. Ruth and her husband enjoyed traveling within the state of Michigan, and especially enjoyed the Upper Peninsula. Ruth and Bill celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary on November 23, 2004. Just two days later, on November 25, 2004, Bill passed away due to a heart attack and emphysema. Her hobbies were crocheting, knitting, quilting and making afghans. Ruth has always given her pieces away, she was never interested in selling them. She also made lap blankets for wheelchair bound residents in local nursing homes. She is survived by a sister, Emma (Frank) Findlay from Reese and a brother Ralph (Patricia) Markel in Lexington, as well as her sisters-in-law, Sally Markel and Luella Markel and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her siblings: Alice Weiss, Julia Reder, Bernice Perry, John Markel and Charles Markel. Funeral Liturgy and Rite of Committal will be on Friday, May 26, 2017 at St. Jude Thaddeus Parish-St. John the Evangelist Church in Essexville at 11 a.m. The Rev. Fr. Dale Orlik will preside. Private interment will be in St. Patrick's Cemetery. Visitation will be on Friday at the church only from 10 a.m. until the funeral Liturgy. Memorial contributions can be made to Sheffield Place. The family wishes to send a special thank you to staff at Sheffield Place for the loving care they gave to Ruth during her 12 years there.