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Ruth Ann Klis


Ruth Ann Klis (Laing), age 83, of Grand Rapids, passed away on Monday, October 31, at Provision Living in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Ruth “Ruthie” Ann Laing was born on May 22, 1939, in Freeport, Minnesota, the youngest child to Bernard “Ben” and Olive (Theisen) Laing.  Ruth was raised in a loving family in a small, close-knit German Catholic community in Freeport, Minnesota, and was educated by nuns at Sacred Heart Catholic School.  She graduated from Melrose High School in 1957 and went to nursing school at the College of St. Catherine’s in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she developed cherished and life-long girlfriends.

Ruth worked as a Labor and Delivery Nurse in Minneapolis, where she met her future husband, Richard Klis when his niece was born.  They married on June 30, 1962, and started their family the following year.

Ruth and Richard raised their young family in NE Minneapolis; Arlington Heights, Illinois; South Bend, Indiana; before settling in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1975.  They were a fun, glamorous, social couple blessed with many dear and precious friends, especially friends made at St. Robert’s Parish and the Forest Hills/Watermark Golf Club in Grand Rapids.

Our family was their primary focus throughout life, raising three active kids and staying in touch with their large extended, ever-growing family in Minnesota.  Annual summer road trips to see aunties, uncles, and cousins in a Chevrolet station wagon filled to the brim are beloved memories that bring us much joy.

We are grateful that both of our parents lived to spend time with their grandchildren. Creating loving memories of summers and Christmases in Michigan, time in California at Uncle Greggy’s, Disneyland, and a wonderful trip to the Laing family cabins in Minnesota.

For over twenty years, Ruth was a hard-working and dedicated R.N. who cared for the elderly at several nursing homes in Grand Rapids.  Her profession was an extension of her deep faith in God and Christ’s calling to serve others.  She brought comfort to many people over the years through her love, kindness, and skill as a nurse.

Throughout her life, Ruth enjoyed entertaining family and friends, gardening, playing cards, birdwatching, and traveling with her husband (including countless trips to casinos).  Ruth was a wonderful homemaker and holiday decorator and delighted in caring for her husband, children, and grandchildren.

Ruth is survived by her children, Julie Hull (Thomas), Greg Klis, and Carrie Klis (Eric), and grandchildren, Alisha, Michael, Isabella, Brandon, Hayden, and Dylan.  She is also survived by her siblings, Dorothy Roman of Minneapolis; Fritz (Shirley) Laing of Freeport; Mary Ann Laing of Freeport.

Preceded in death by her loving husband of fifty years, Richard Klis; parents, Bernard & Olive Laing; infant brother, Robert Laing; brother, Bernard (Bernie) Laing; sister and brother-in-law, Harriet and Hank Cash; brother-in-law, Dick Roman; and nephew, Scottie Wenner.

Celebration of Life Mass will be held on Saturday, November 26, at 11 am, with visitation one hour prior at St. Robert of Newminster, 6477 Ada Drive SE.  A Mass and Interment will be held next summer in Minnesota at the Sacred Heart Church Cemetery in Freeport with a date TBD.

The family wishes to thank Melissa, Esther, Jonathan of Kindred Hospice Care, Nurse Jodi, and her staff at Provision Living at Forest Hills for all their kindness, support, and wonderful care.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Kindred Hospice Care, 625 Kenmoor Ave., SE Suite 115 Grand Rapids, MI  49546.  Donations will go directly to patient care.

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3 Responses

  1. We are so sorry to hear the sad news of Auntie Ruth’s passing To the family our prayers an sympathy Love you Cousins

  2. Dear Family,
    Aunt Ruth was always so kind and gentle with me in my childhood. I was blessed to have her as my godmother. I remember how classy and sophisticated she was. I wish you peace and cherished memories.
    Barbara (daughter of Joe and Anne Klis) and Richard Osborne

  3. Oh the memories! Growing up next door to the Klis family. Ruth was such a good friend to my mom Lorraine. I remember babysitting Julie and Greg, Julie and Lori fighting over Barbies, your dad having to bring all of your Moms’ Christmas presents to our house so she wouldn’t find them and visiting your new house in New Hope to name a few. It was a sad day when your family left Minnesota. Your Mom will be missed by all who were lucky enough to know her.
    (The old house is still for sale Greg!)

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Make a Contribution

Memorial Contributions

Kindred Hospice

625 Kenmoor Ave., SE Suite 115

Grand Rapids, MI  49546