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Life Story / Obituary
Ruth Agnes (Wright) Behringer, 98 years young, passed peacefully away on January 14.
A self-proclaimed “small but mighty” woman, she let her light shine as a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. A twin, Ruth was born June 20, 1921, to Milton E. and Agnes R. (Fitzpatrick) Wright on a homestead in Deer Trail, Colorado. She grew up in Detroit with twin brother Milton and younger brothers Donald and Frank, attending Sherrill Elementary School and Mackenzie High School. Ruth met future husband Edward, an electrical engineering student at the University of Detroit, while she was an economics student at Marygrove College. Upon earning their degrees in 1944, Ed joined the U.S. Navy and they married in April 1945. Ruth put her degree to use, first, at the accounting firm of Ernst & Ernst and, ultimately, throughout the many years of raising their nine children. When asked if she was a housewife, she often responded by saying she was more of a “domestic engineer.” She was an active member of the Redford Suburban League, the mission of which was to raise money to help physically challenged children and to create lasting bonds of friendship. Along with her bustling family, Ruth was also a longtime and faithful member of St. Valentine’s Catholic Church in Redford Township. Ed’s employment with Ex-Cello Micromatic brought the couple and their youngest four children to Holland for just two years in the early ‘70s, after which they made their home in Farmington Hills. But she and Ed returned to Waukazoo Woods in 1985 to enjoy their retirement. They found a loving community of like-minded friends at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church and, later, in the Village at Appledorn retirement community. Ruth loved her God, her husband, and her children. She liked Vernors ginger ale, cashews, chocolate-covered caramels, bowling, and the color purple.
She is survived by her devoted husband of nearly 75 years, Ed; sons Lawrence (Linda), James (Sharon), Thomas (Cynthia), and Donald (Carrie); daughters Barbara (Robert) Peterson, Carolyn (Robert) Witte, Anne Guss, MaryLou (Scott) Bagladi, and Catherine. Ruth was immensely proud of 16 grandchildren—spread from Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin, to Tennessee, Oregon, California, Finland, and Japan—and seven great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents and brothers.
Her body has been willed to the University of Michigan Medical School. No local viewing or funeral service is scheduled. There will be a Celebration of Life at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church (Holland, MI) or Hospice of Holland.