WAUTOMA

Edith B. Ruben Palmer


Dec. 8, 1914 – Feb. 20, 2014


Edith Belle Swan Ruben Palmer died peacefully in her sleep the morning of February 20, 2014, after 99 years of life.

Edith was born December 8, 1914, in Wauwatosa, and went to elementary school at the original one-room Woodside School. She graduated from Shorewood High School and earned her bachelor’s degree at Stout College in 1936 with a major in home economics, and was on the women’s swim team.

Her first teaching job was in Omro, but she left to marry her first husband, Bill. They had five children, and farmed land in the Butler and Fountain City areas. Following Bill’s death, Edith worked as a dietician in the Calhoun and Pewaukee school districts. She then met and married Warren Palmer, and they combined their families.

Edith and Warren purchased land and created what is now Lake of the Woods Campground in Wautoma. Upon their retirement, they wintered in Leesburg, Fla., and summered in their home on Cass Lake, Minn., where they enjoyed fishing. Her grandchildren have fond memories of visiting Lake of the Woods Campground and vacationing at Cass Lake, fishing with her and watching her fillet and fry fish.

Upon Warren’s death, Edith moved back to Wautoma and lived in the woods adjacent to Lake of the Woods Campground with friends and family close by. She enjoyed being outdoors, watching the changing seasons, birds and other wildlife. She loved family reunions, ceramics, embroidery, creating all kinds of crafts and especially designing and sewing individualized hand towels that she gave away in celebration of all occasions.

She was a woman of faith, and in her last two decades was a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Wautoma.

In her last decade, Edith resided at Heartland House in Wautoma, where she fervently enjoyed playing cards and other games. “A card laid is a card played!” She also continued making her crafts and enjoyed visits from her family and friends. “Edie” could be found zipping (too fast!) down the halls of Heartland House in her electric wheelchair making people smile.

What an amazing life!

She raised seven children and is survived by five children, Gwen (Gene) Krueger, Carol Schoolcraft, Don E. (Judi) Ruben, Gail (Everett) Zellmer and Roland (Rosie) Palmer; 10 grandchildren, Sarah (Dan) Montgomery and Leah (Leon) Foerster; Rusty (Kris) Schoolcraft and Holly (Tom) Watts; Walt (Jessica) Ruben; Rick (Theresa) Page and Lisa (Terry) Jannsen; Jill (Henri) Zellmer and Peter (Valerie) Zellmer; Dennis (Sandra) Rhead; Dean (Melinda) Rhead and Scott Palmer; and 20 great-grandchildren, Brenna and Molly Montgomery, Ian and Lauren Foerster; Elizabeth Henry; Ben Schoolcraft; Brad (Melissa) Baker and Jennifer (Josh) Baker; Megan Frost and Erin (Richard) Frost; Kallen and Blaine Ruben; Justine, Kyleigh and Maycie Page; Taylor and Kelsey Jannsen; Jasper Zellmer; Eric, Lisa, Brenda and Kristen Sakowski; Jake, McKinley and Titus Rhead; and Alec Palmer; and several great-great-grandchildren. Edith is also survived by a sister, Joy Swan (Charles) Bickford; a son-in-law, Ray Banovez; special friends, Thora and Jack; and lots of nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends in Fountain City and other parts of Wisconsin.

What a legacy!

Edith was preceded in death by her parents, Emery Earling and Henrietta Lena Rickert Johnson Swan; her two husbands, Allen “Bill” Ruben and Warren Palmer; two brothers, Howard (Evelyn) Swan and Ralph (Bertha) Swan; a daughter, Susie Page Banovez; a son, Bobby Palmer; two sons-inlaw, Jim Schoolcraft and Richard Page; a granddaughter, Carol Ann Schoolcraft; and special friend, Kristy.

The family wishes to thank the staff at Heartland House for making “Edie” safe and comfortable in her last years and especially her final days. A thank you also to her physician, Dr. Roberts, for his visits and respect.

Edith will be buried between her two husbands in Wisconsin Memorial Park, Brookfield, where she used to ice skate to school as a child.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held today, February 25, at 1:00 P.M. in the Chapel of the Chimes (Main Memorial Building) at Wisconsin Memorial Park, 13235 W. Capitol Drive, Brookfield, WI 53005. Visitation will be from noon to 1:00 P.M. Tuesday only, one hour prior to the time of services at Wisconsin Memorial Park.

Memorials will be appreciated in place of flowers.

Ruminski Funeral Home of Redgranite, 920-566-2313, is serving the family.