Donna Jean (Spray) Ruhe

RUHE, Donna Jean (Spray) March 8, 1925 ~ March 11, 2016 Papillion, NE Donna Jean (Spray) Ruhe was born on March 8, 1925, in the family farmhouse near Hillsboro, Iowa. She was the eighth of ten children born to Max and Anna Spray. Through the eighth grade, Donna attended a one-room country schoolhouse where her sister was her first teacher. After the eighth grade she went to Hillsboro High School, graduating in 1942. Following high school, Donna left the farm and moved to Ottumwa, where she attended Iowa Success School and learned secretarial skills. A co-worker set her up to go on a blind date with his cousin, Gordon Ruhe, who was on leave from the war in Europe. According to Donna, Gordon did not impress her on that first date, but she must have quickly changed her opinion of him, since they married two months later on June 17, 1945. It was a loving, happy marriage that lasted for more than 55 years until Gordon’s death. Five children were born to Donna and Gordon, one of whom died shortly after birth. In 1956 the family moved from Ottumwa to Lincoln, and then to Ralston in 1961. In 1965 the Ruhes gained another family member when they hosted Ralston’s first foreign exchange student, Marijke Kwaks from the Netherlands. Donna considered her most important jobs to be that of wife and mother, but in 1962 she returned to the work force as a secretary, working until 1980. That year she and Gordon retired to Fairfield Bay, Arkansas. There, until Gordon’s death in 2000, they spent twenty happy years together, enjoying golf, boating, playing bridge, and socializing with their many friends. They were also very involved in the community and in the Fairfield Bay United Methodist Church. Donna continued to remain in Fairfield Bay until 2007, when she moved back to Nebraska. She resided at Hillcrest Estates in Papillion until her death on March 11, 2016. Donna was preceded in death by her husband, Gordon; infant son, Thomas; parents, Max and Anna Spray; brothers: John, Tom, Sam, and Raymond Spray; sisters: Dorothy Isaacson, Julia Landess, and Margaret McCabe. She is survived by her children: Gregory Ruhe (Mary), Vicki Geiger (Gerald, David Ruhe (Sue), and Laura (Alan) Schmidt; brother, Max Spray (Sandra); sister, Clarice Johnson; four grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews. MEMORIAL SERVICE: 11am, Saturday, April 2, 2016 at Bellevue Memorial Chapel, followed by luncheon at Bellevue Volunteer Fire Department Hall, 2018 Franklin St. Memorials to Hillcrest Health Services, 1902 Harlan Drive, Suite A, Bellevue 68005, or to Fairfield Bay Methodist Church, 765 Dave Creek Parkway, Fairfield Bay AR 72088

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