Ruth Richter Behrend, of Hartland, passed away on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at Waukesha Memorial Hospital, at the age of 86.
Ruth was born on June 15, 1929 in Milwaukee, WI to the late Herbert and Esther (Mueller) Richter. She graduated from North-Division High School, received a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and began her career working in human resources for the First Wisconsin National Bank. She married Wilfred G. Behrend on December 26, 1953. By 1960, she and her husband moved to Hartland and started the Behrend Agency, selling real estate and insurance. She continued active property management until her death.
Ruth was a leader in the Hartland community for almost 60 years. As a charter member and director of the Lake County Players (founded 1959), Ruth acted, directed, produced, and promoted numerous shows and was instrumental in their move to the acclaimed Lake Country Playhouse. Ruth was also deeply involved with the American Field Service (AFS), hosting numerous exchange students over 40 years. She also served as trustee of both the Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital and Pro Health, and served on the Arrowhead High School Board.
Ruth was also was an active member of the First Congregational Church UCC of Hartland, the Hartland Women’s Club, the Nagawicka Lake Yacht Club, Lakeside Ladies Golf League, as well as several bridge clubs. Over the years, Ruth spearheaded numerous fundraising campaigns for the Great Blue Heron Girl Scout Council. As long-term member of the Hartland Chamber of Commerce, she traveled with the Chamber to China in November 2015.
Ruth is predeceased by her husband, her parents, her brothers, Herbert and Harvey (Sharon) Richter. She is survived by her sister Grace (Paul), sister-in-law Gene Richer, children Jim (Pam), Rick (Chris), Bob (Patty), and Beth (Robert), and her grandchildren; Katie (Jake) Berg; Allison, Jack, Amanda, Emily and Julia Behrend; Anna, Jonathan and Peter Eaton. She is further survived by her extended AFS family around the world, and many of her close friends in the Lake Country who consider her a “sister” in the many experiences they all shared in life.
A visitation for family and friends will take place at the First Congregational UCC Hartland on Friday, January 15th, from 3-7PM. A celebration of life service will be held at 11AM on Saturday, January 16, at the same location.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to The Lake Country Players, The First Congregational Church or the American Field Service.