Ruth Michalak, 94, passed away at her home in Eau Claire on Sunday, June 9, 2019 with family by her side.
Ruth was born on October 29, 1924 in Stanley, Wisconsin to Mary (Ciolkosz) and Stanley “Ed” Smoczyk. After graduating from Stanley High School, Ruth worked in Chicago, but after several years, she missed the “wide open spaces” and returned home.
In 1947 she married Kasmer Michalak, and they moved to the Michalak family farm on Highway G north of Stanley. After Kap died in a tragic accident on July 4, 1963, Ruth continued raising their six children on the farm and worked for many years at Thorp Finance and ITT Corporation. After moving to Eau Claire in 1983, she worked for the Eau Claire County Senior Aides Department and also volunteered in the Lakeshore Elementary School library.
As a small child, Ruth discovered the magic of books and had a lifelong love of a “good clean story.” She was a huge fan of westerns (especially Louis L’Amour), classic mystery novels and John Wayne movies.
Though Ruth faced tremendous challenges during her 94 years, there were also many reasons for great joy and celebration. She faced life with faith, courage, humility, grace, a quick wit and a well-honed sense of humor. Those whose lives she entered were blessed by her kindness, generosity and wisdom.
Ruth’s family was most important to her. She will be missed by all who knew her and especially: her children LaVerne (Janet) Michalak; Mary Ann (the late Samuel) Voytovich; Patricia (Steve) Telisak,; Linda (Mark) Schmidt; Deborah Michalak (Susan Sherlag); Cindy Michalak (Barb Beckstead); her twelve grandchildren; her 21 great-grandchildren; her sisters Colleen (the late Jim) Ruby, and Lorraine (Louis) Champa, and brother Michael (Carol Lee) Smoczyk.
Ruth, now pain free and at peace, joins those who have passed before her including: her husband Kasmer, parents, brothers Peter, Harry, James and Robert, and many in-laws.
Visitation is on Friday, June 14 from 9:30 to 11:15 at Plombon Funeral Home in Stanley followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at Holy Family Church at 11:30. Internment follows at Holy Family cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, consider honoring Ruth and celebrating her memory by doing as she did--make a generous donation to those in need and perform daily acts of kindness. Donations received by the family will be contributed to local food pantries in Ruth’s name.
Sincere gratitude to those who helped care for Ruth in her home including St. Joseph’s Home Health and Hospice.
“Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come.
T’was grace that brought us safe thus far
And grace will lead us home.”
“Amazing Grace” by John Newton