Ruby H. Boehnke, 95, of rural Garner, Iowa died Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at Mercy Medical Center - North Iowa in Mason City, Iowa.
Funeral services were held Monday, May 7, at St. John’s Lutheran Church east of Garner, Iowa with Carl Hedberg officiating. Burial was in the church cemetery. Cataldo Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Ruby Hazel (Hage) Boehnke was born in Jewell, Iowa on Sept. 11, 1916 on the farm. She was the daughter of Charles and Blanche (Claire) Hage. She was baptized and confirmed in Jewell. Ruby graduated from Garner Community Schools with honors as the Salutatorian. While she was a student at Garner, Ruby was involved in debate and cheerleading. While Ruby was living in Garner, she worked at a number of jobs. Ruby worked at the Garner Library because she was a “Book Lover”. She also worked at the Avery Theatre while in high school and alongside her father at the egg processing business in Garner. She prided herself in being the best at whatever she pursued.
Ruby was loved by many friends from Mason City to Garner.
Ruby married Raymond Friedrich Boehnke on July 25, 1936 in Algona, Iowa. They lived on the family farm north of Garner where they raised five daughters. On the farm, Ruby used to cook meals for the farmers and help out as needed, even riding the tractor if necessary. Ruby also made the farm look like a park through the years. Ruby was active in PTA and Band Boosters at Ventura Schools. Ruby also was a very active member of the Democratic Party all of her life. Ruby attended St. John’s Lutheran Church in rural Garner up until her death. She was a Sunday School teacher and an active member of the Ladies Aide.
In her late 60’s, Ruby began working at the Barrel Drive In. She was head cook and loved by the many carhops who worked there. Ruby used to be a mother to all of the carhops; they were her second family. After her years at the Barrel, Ruby worked as a mail carrier at the Garner Post Office. Ruby walked two different routes in Garner; one nine miles and one 15. She used to laugh when she would beat the men carriers by an hour or two.
Ruby loved being with her children and grandchildren and loved doing things with family through the years; fishing trips and playing cards were two of her favorite activities with her family. Ruby and Ray used to love to visit their five daughters. They loved spending time with them all through the years. The “Annual Boehnke Family” reunion was such a blessing through the years. It was a time when all of the girls and their families could get together on the farm.
She is survived by her five daughters, Virginia (Don) Brocker of Woodbury, Minn., Barbara Needham of Mound, Minn., Kay (Alden) Lundebrek of Starbuck, Minn., Patricia (Dick) Nordman of Arlington Heights, Ill. and Rebecca (David) Ziesmer of Garner; 14 grandchildren, Victoria (Edward) Huebsch, Michelle Holmgren, Patrice (John) Horner, Michael (Deborah) Brocker, David (Robyn) Needham, Jonathan Needham, Patrick Needham, Dana (Charles) Parks, John (Heather) Lundebrek, Sarah (David) Solak, Matthew (Karen) Nordman, Angela (Michael) Ryg, Alison Ziesmer and Derek Ziesmer; thirty-seven great-grandchildren; and eight great-great grandchildren. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Ruby was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Ray, Feb. 2, 2005; three sisters, infant sister Leona, Evelyn Boehnke and Shirley Engebretson; two sisters-in- law, Lillian Wetterling and Norma Smokstad; and a great-great-grandson, Michael John, who died on May 1, 2012.
Ruby’s daily caregivers, Holly and Melissa, helped make it possible for Ruby to stay on the farm. They helped enhance her life these past few months.