Ruth C. Stein, 89, of Burlington, died Sunday, October 28, 2018 at Bickford Cottage.
Born June 24, 1929 in Burlington, IA, she was the daughter of Sam and Sonia L. Chanen. She married Irvin M. Stein on March 27, 1949 in Burlington, IA. He preceded her in death on June 18, 2015.
Ruth graduated from Burlington High School and Northwestern University. She was a homemaker. She was a member of Temple Israel, T.T.T., the Rotary Club and the Hetta Gilbert Society. She served as Past Matron of EC Blackmar #306 O.E.S., Past Grand Organist of the Grand Chapter of Iowa O.E.S. and Past President of the Burlington United Way. She was recognized as Woman of the Year by the Girl Scouts of America.
Survivors include two sons, Loren C. Stein of Burlington and Randall C. Stein of Northglenn, CO; granddaughter, Amy (Vic) Wirtz of Cleveland, OH; two great grandchildren, Andrew and Laura and a brother, Frank Chanen of Chicago, IL.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband of sixty-six years, Irvin; and daughter Elaine Patterson and her husband Amos.
A memorial has been established for Great River Hospice.
My parents, Joe and Barbara Sutter were friends of the Steins. I remember seeing them sitting in the back corner of the dining room at the golf club when I would go there for dinner with my parents. Mrs. Stein and my mother were in TTT together. My mother moved into Bickford a few weeks after Mrs. Stein did and we would chat when we passed each other at the front door. She was always so cheerful! I know the residents of Bickford will miss her piano playing!
Mrs. Stein, as I always called her, was the mother of my friend, Elaine who was the first person I met when my family moved to Golf Lane in 1962 when we were just entering Oakhill JHS. We formed a lasting friendship as Elaine lived two doors from us on the BGC course. We shared an avid interest in sewing, and one year we spent hours sewing Barbie Doll Clothes. We made so many we had a sale and the Burlington Hawkeye wrote a feature story about us in the paper. We did much of the sewing at the Steins, and Mrs. Stein would meet us after school with cookies (this is something my mother did not provide on a regular basis), and I very much appreciated, then we'd go to the lower level of their split level house and sew until it was time to go home. The Steins often invited me to play bridge with them, so I got to know them pretty well, especially Ruth, who was the perfect mother. Always interested in us, but not in any way domineering. As a result we probably talked to her a lot more than to my mom. When we graduated from BHS in 1968, the Steins, Kueppers and my parents hosted a street party for Elaine, Steve and me. It was a big affair and I remember being a little overwhelmed. I was fortunate to have lunch with Ruth the end of August at Burlington Golf Club when I was home for my 50th HS reunion. It is the end of an era. Both Elaine and Steve died prematurely and Ruth was the last of the parents. I know Loren and Randy will miss her and I hope they know what an influence she was so many Burlington people.
Barbara Benson Howell
Being the youngest sister of John, below, I too remember our neighbors "the Steins" as very interesting, social, and very good friends of our parents. That was the day when people would have long conversations at dinner parties. They often went well into the mornings.
Randy, I didn't know you were in Northglen, CO. Please give me a call; I do come down to Denver occasionally: 970-339-9509
It is tough losing a parent, but the last one seems harder. Hang in there and remember the good times. Susan Benson Todd
I wish to express my deepest sympathies to Loren and Randy for the passing of their mother. I knew their mom as Mrs. Stein, growing up as neighbors to the Steins on Golf Lane for many years. My parents had fun get togethers with Mr. and Mrs. Stein. I remember Mrs Stein as being interested in my goings on and generous. Mr. and Mrs. Stein were benefactors to the new Burlington library.
Ruth was faithful to the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls. As a member I always appreciated her music, love and support. I will always cherish the memories I have of Ruth. God Bless.
I became friends with Ruth while working at the Burlington Golf Club. Our weekly conversations and her ability to put a smile on my face will be greatly missed!
Thomas Campbell once said, "To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die." Ruth will continue to live in my memories and will remain close to my heart. I wish Loren and the rest of the Stein family peace during this time of loss. Deepest love and sympathy, Sarah Oldfield
Ruth was one of the few people in my life who loved me unconditionally. If we didn't speak for a while, she would say, "I know you are really busy, and I'm glad for that. But we're talking now, right?" It was an honor to know her.
I will miss seeing Ruth. She was very much involved whether it was at a United way meeting or just out to dinner with friends
Ruth Stein will be miss by many as she touched so many peoples lives in such a positive way. So many memories and an honor to work for the Stein/Chanen family for so many years. Irv and Ruth were a beautiful couple. My sympathies and prayers to the family.
Ruth played the piano at Bickford since 2002. Her music enriched the lived of many residents and staff. She was such a positive vibrant lady who will be missed by many.
Ruth and Irv were wonderful people and best friends. In their grief we wish the family peace and comfort and many dear memories. Jane and Jim Adams
I met Ruth as a teen as I spent time on her daughter’s farm in OH. I guess I felt a little intimidated at first fearing I was not proper enough, or Jewish. That feeling turned to love and appreciation as I spent time with her and the family. Ruth left a lasting impression with her direct, lively manner, her upbeat personality, her energetic zest for life and her acceptance of others - for who they are. She had a great sense of humor! She was strong and positive. I can still hear her voice and laugh. What an amazing lady. Loren and Amy, I know you miss her, but her strength lives on in you and yours. Hugs to you and Cheers to Ruth! Barb Krumm
Ruth... An outstanding Lady! I truly have respected her since I joined E.C. Blackmar in 1997. I have enjoyed working with her in Chapter and enjoyed cooking breakfast with her at the County Fair for several years.
She always had a remarkable way of getting people to do things she knew they could do. Her asking me to
Organist for the chapter was a huge step for both her and for me. She was a great organist and I know I have a lot of work to do to try and fill her Shoes. I will miss her , however, I know she is watching over me and E.C. Blackmar. Sister Colleen Mann
My sympathies to the Stein Family. I have the honor of knowing Ruth as a neighbor, as a fellow Rotarian, and as a volunteer at GRHS. She was a gem and truly a good soul! My kids will always remember she and Irv dressing as cats for Halloween - they were the BEST. Hugs to you, Loren.
Ruth played the piano at our Rotary Club Meetings for many years. Before each meeting she would entertain us with Big-Band era song,s, patriotic songs, and Broadway hits. For many years I would select a song for the Rotarians to sing from the song book or from sheet music that I brought it. . Ruth was one of those gifted pianists who could play any music you put in front of her. She was always kind, upbeat, and friendly. I didn't know she was in her 80's! I am sad she is gone.
Not many people have had the privilege of loving Ruth for 71 years. She was my friend, my confidante, my rock. She will be missed. Love, Ruth Ann Ferris
She seemed like a wonderful addition to our world. You are in my prayers, Amy and family. Wish I could be there in person for you. Love to all your family - Becky Murphy
Loren and Family - Please know how special Ruth and Irv were to us at SCC and to me personally. Ruth kidded me like my Mom did and let me hang around I think just to humor me. I love the story of your parents’ courtship and I was always slightly jealous of her piano skills and immaculate kitchen. I miss her already. -Becky Rump
What a kind, funny, caring person she was! I did not know her well, but somehow I'm sure she lived a full and satisfying life; I know many people will remember her kindness and her generous spirit.
Loren, I’m so sorry for the passing of your Mom. She will be dearly missed by so many. I had a special bond with Ruth, since we shared the same birthday. We loved having cocktails with her and Irv and later taking Ruth out for dinner. In fact we were supposed to take her tomorrow night to The Krafted Bistro. Special thoughts being sent your way for you and your family. Donna Logan
I have so many fond memories of Mrs. Stein. She would come to Suunyside School and play the piano at Christmas time even though she was of the Jewish in faith. Her involvement in many activities at the Masonic Lodge when I was in DeMolys. Loren you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Ruth was such a joy to have at Bickford. Loved her smile. I am happy she is now at peace.
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