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Ruth passed away peacefully at Hospice of the Valley in Surprise, Arizona on Thursday afternoon, March 23, 2023. A Christian service and celebration of her life will be held at Fountain of Life Lutheran Church, Sun City, Arizona on Thursday, April 20 at 11 a.m. Pastor Tom Daly will officiate. Interment will be at the Fountain of Life Lutheran Church Columbarium where her husband’s remains rest.
Ruth Laura Zastrow was born in Oconomowoc at Summit Hospital to Leonard F Zastrow and Emma Rolof. They lived on a farm near Ixonia on the Rockvale Road. She was brought into the faith being baptized on October 3, 1928 by Pastor Sauer and confirmed June 15, 1941 by Pastor Albrecht at St John’s in Ixonia. She attended Spring Valley School through 8th grade. Her family moved to Oconomowoc where she attended Oconomowoc High School and graduated in 1946. She was recognized for high academic honors. She was a piano student for 8 years and could play all of the popular music. During her high school years, she worked at Carnation Canning Co in the office typing milk checks.
She married Everett Henry Kohlhoff on May 1, 1949 at St Matthew’s Lutheran in Oconomowoc with Pastor Paustian officiating. For several years they lived and farmed with his parents, Henry and Emma (Dittberner) Kohlhoff SE of Watertown. She worked for a short time at the Ira L Henry Company (The Box Factory) In 1952, they bought their own farm just east of Clyman which they sold in 1994. She worked for a short time at the Clyman Canning factory and in 1961 she started with Baso Penn Controls/Johnson Controls where she worked for 27 years.
Ruth and her husband began wintering in Arizona when they bought a home in 1987 and were permanent residents in 1994. They enjoyed life in Sun City: RVing, cruising, and traveling to Europe as well as driving back to Wisconsin and polka dancing until Everett passed away in 2007. Ruth volunteered at the Sun City Posse for over 25 years and was recognized for her service. She was an auxiliary American Legion member at Post 62 in Peoria where she enjoyed dancing and having her one beer. Up until about a year ago, she was still driving and living in her own home. Early this year, she moved to Sun Valley Lodge Assisted Living, located a few miles from her home. She was a previous member of Zion Lutheran Church in Clyman, WI and the Ladies Aid. Fountain of Life Lutheran; LCMS in Sun City has since been her home church. She never missed a Sunday until she was recently hospitalized.
She is survived by her only child, a daughter, Lois Durkin (Patrick) of Houston, Texas. Four grandchildren: James, Michael, and Matthew (Heavenlyn) Durkin and Jessica (James) Dupree. Four great-grandchildren: Alyssa, Olivia, and Patrick Durkin and Philomena Dupree. Also her sister in-law, Caroline Kohlhoff. She was preceded in death by her parents, infant brother, Rubin, her husband and other relatives.
Best Funeral Home of Peoria, AZ is assisting the family. We graciously thank all those who cared for her and visited her throughout her life and especially toward the end of her life. The caregivers at Sun Valley Lodge (a wonderful facility), the staff at Hospice of the Valley for their kind care during her last several days, the Sun City Posse, her many friends and neighbors. Special thanks to Fay Parker, Meg Matthes, and Marie McIntyre.