Ruth E. Kauffman, Lititz native, nurse and instructor, musically inclined, community volunteer

By on December 5, 2018

Ruth E. Kauffman passed away quietly on Monday Nov. 12, 2018 at Invigorate Healthcare of Whitefish previously Whitefish Care & Rehab Center.

Ruth was born July 18, 1921 in Lititz to Benjamin S and Anna O. Eberly, the eighth of 10 children.

She grew up in Lancaster County, but finished high school at Eastern Mennonite High School in Harrisonburg Va. Ruth continued her education at Eastern Mennonite College (now University) graduating with a B.S. in nursing.

While at college, Ruth met her husband David “Doc” Kauffman of Creston, Mont., and they married in 1950.

Ruth taught nursing at Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia while her husband finished medical school. Ruth and Doc briefly resided in Spokane, Wash., before moving to Whitefish Montana in 1959.

Ruth’s life was built around her family, faith and community and she worked tirelessly to support her family’s endeavors throughout her life. While she would define herself as a “house mom,” it was one of many roles she took on with enthusiasm. She supported her children as an active PTA member, a Scout leader, president of the band boosters, and helped with more than one last minute creative writing assignment.

Ruth was never far from nursing and supported the local medical community as a founding member of the Sunshine Ladies at North Valley Hospital and served two terms as president of the North Valley Hospital Auxiliary. After her kids were grown, she returned to nursing, working with her husband in his medical practice.

Ruth was not one to sit still. She was very active in her church, the community World Day of Prayer, the Women of the Moose, the Head Start Program and helped at the community food bank. She loved to garden, was a talented seamstress and an excellent shot who enjoyed hunting with her husband. In 2002, Ruth had the honor of serving as the First Lady of Whitefish.

Music was a constant and important part of Ruth’s life. She played the violin in high school and piano throughout her life. She was an organizing member of the Treb-L-Aires, a dedicated supporter of community concerts, a member of the Flathead Community Choir well into her 80s, and an Alpine Ringer for many years.

She is preceded in death by her husband: Dr. David “Doc” V. Kauffman; her parents: Benjamin and Anna Eberly; a brother: Harvey Eberly; and eight sisters: Minnie Good, Fanny Buckwalter, Anna Mary Weaver, Ada Rudy, Esther Auker, Barbara Eberly, Mabel Miller and Katheryn Stover all from Lancaster County.

She is survived by her four children: David Kauffman (Anita), Whitefish, Mont.; Stephen Kauffman, Yakima, Wash.; Elizabeth Kauffman-Harmon (Stephen), Wasilla, Alaska; Rebecca Kauffman-Piotrowski (David), Bend, Ore.; and six grandchildren.

Ruth will be interned at the Whitefish Cemetery, and a celebration of life will be held in December.

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