Valerie Susan Ruhl of Hancock, WI left us unexpectedly on January 26, 2023 while preparing for her newborn granddaughter’s welcome home. She was born August 31th, 1959 as the youngest of 8 children to Jacob Ruhl and Mary (Reigenborn) Ruhl in Waukegan, IL and spent her youth on The Ruhl Farm in Antioch, IL. She attended St. Patrick’s grade school in Wadsworth, IL and Reuther High School in Kenosha, WI, where she met her lifelong partner, Bill Michel.
Softball was a favorite pastime they shared with their 2 daughters, Dianna and Holly. She was the best Nama to her grandchildren and lived to see them smile. Ean Joseph, Payton Marie and MaryLynn Valerie were the pride of her life. While she and Bill retired to Hancock WI, Valerie could never sit still for long and found great joy working in the greenhouse in the early morning hours at Gramma Miller’s Farm.
Valerie was known for her strength and work ethic, overcoming the hardships in her life with determination and kindness and asking for nothing in return. She never arrived anywhere emptyhanded. Always a dish to pass or a gift that made her think of you. She would give anything she had to help those she cared for. If her sewing machine would let her, she would fix any treasured item in a heartbeat. Valerie had a love for old treasures, the outdoors, and a fondness for turtles and the ocean. Plants and other treasures from all the places and people she loved were used to create a beautiful garden sanctuary where she could feed the squirrels, birds, and deer. Every Monday you could find her playing bingo at her favorite spot, usually dragging one of her grandchildren along. And, though they were gone before her, she talked to her sisters daily. Family was everything to Valerie.
She follows her sisters Carol Ernstmeyer, Jacqueline Booth, and Mary Grice into Heaven, along with her parents and 2 brothers, Donald Ruhl and James Ruhl. Also preceding her journey are her niece Connie Ruhl and nephews Aaron Grice and David Ruhl.
She leaves behind her partner Bill, daughters Dianna (Eric) Prostko & Holly (Michael Nelson) Ruhl, grandchildren, brothers Joseph Ruhl and Thomas (Barb) Ruhl, sister-in-law Salene Ruhl, and brother-in-law Albert Grice. In-laws Chris (Shelley) Heltsley, Jacky (Don) Lajeunesse, Scott (Kim) Michel, Jerri (Jim) Huff also remain behind along with host of beloved cousins, nieces, and nephews.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to Paul Anderson Jr. & Michael Nelson.
A Southern Celebration of Life to be planned for March.
A Northern Celebration of Life will follow when the snowbirds return home to Hancock, WI.