Visitation will be Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home, 201 E. 4th Ave., Milan. Services will be Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, East Moline. Burial will be at Chippiannock Cemetery, Rock Island. Ruth had a deep respect for missionaries bringing the gospel to all the ends of the earth. In her honor, the family requests memorials be made to the missionary fund of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Rock Island Ward, or to Chippiannock Cemetery to plant a tree in Ruth's memory.
Ruth Emilie Boussemaere was born in Mellingen, Switzerland, on March 29, 1933, a daughter of Robert Bumbach and Emilie Bumbach Fischer. She grew up helping her mother raise their own food on a rural acreage in the hard years of World War II, working in the fields after school and on weekends. When time allowed, she loved to follow her older brother on his adventures.
After graduating from school, Ruth worked a factory assembly job to help her parents buy land for a home, while taking shorthand at night. In the 1950s, she had a chance meeting with her husband-to-be, Leon Boussemaere, of Brugge, Belgium, in Lucerne on the famous Chapel Bridge, as he was traveling through Switzerland as a limousine chauffeur and travel guide. He corresponded with her from many stops on his trips for several years, and asked her to come be his bride in America, where he had found employment in carpentry at the Rock Island Millwork. They built a home in Moline, where their lives were graced with the birth of a daughter, Laurie Ann. In 1967, they moved to Milan where Ruth was a very busy, happy homemaker and the best mother a daughter could ask for. After Leon's death in 1979, Ruth found employment in both the Rock Island school system and Friendship Manor in the dietary division before retiring at age 65.
Ruth enjoyed gardening, watching the wildlife in her yard, walking in nature, homemaking, reading her Bible and spending time with her family, especially her two grandchildren, Christian and Jessica, who were her pride and joy. She would sled and build snowmen with them in the winter and play in the sandbox and with toys side-by-side with them at every opportunity. They shared an affinity for Swiss chocolate together. Ruth also volunteered in Trinity's Befriender program visiting hospital patients, and in her church as a home teacher. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was very important to Ruth and her church sisters provided a great deal of comfort and support to her after her stroke in 2011. Ruth's family especially wishes to thank Judy Henderson, who faithfully visited twice per week for years, reading to Ruth and sharing church news.
Left to honor her memory are her daughter and son-in-law, Laurie Boussemaere and Steven Leroy Elliott, Blue Grass; grandson, Christian Steven Boussemaere Elliott; granddaughter, Jessica Emilie Boussemaere Elliott; brothers, Bruno and Moritz Bumbach, both of Switzerland; sister, Olga Ritter, Switzerland; and numerous cousins in Switzerland.
Ruth was preceded in death by her loving husband, Leon; a daughter Corinne, who died a day after birth in 1964; and her parents.
Online condolences may be left for the family at wheelanpressly.com.
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