Ruth Gisela McNeil

March 21, 1939June 4, 2018

Ruth Gisela (Kenter) McNeil died on June 4th, 2018 at the Bloomington Hospice House surrounded by her sisters, Karen and Marian and her cousin, Helen Muller. She was predeceased by her parents, Anne-Margret Kantorowicz Kenter and Wigand Kenter. Ruth was born in Istanbul, Turkey on March 21, 1939 to immigrants who had fled to Turkey to escape Nazi Germany. When she was five years old, the family was no longer secure in Istanbul and they emigrated to Palestine where they lived for the next three years. One last emigration in 1947, brought Ruth and her parents to the United States where they eventually found a permanent home in Bloomington, Indiana in 1949. Ruth graduated from University School in 1957 and received a bachelors degree from Earlham College in 1961. Upon graduation, she began a lifelong career working for the Social Security Administration. After a brief marriage to Thomas McNeil, her career took her from Bloomington to New England. Working initially in Connecticut and Massachusetts, she ultimatelly settled in Rhode Island. Ruth loved the architecture of the old New England houses and bought a large Victorian in Providence that had been converted into three apartments. Over more than twenty years she worked on this house and garden, a never ending labor of love. At the same time, she had many adventures and misadventures being a landlord. Owning her own house allowed Ruth to get her first dog, a Bouvier de Flandres. With this dog, she became a life long Bouvier lover dedicated to supporting Bouvier rescue and adopting four Bouviers over the next thirty years. Ruth was a talented artist regardless of the medium she pursued: drawing, ceramics, jewelry making, photography, needle point, knitting, interior design, or creating a beautifully decorated dinner table or Christmas tree. But it was quilting, which she discovered after her retirement in 2000, that became her true passion. In 2003, Ruth moved back to Bloomington where her mother still lived. She joined the Bloomington Quilting Guild and a quilting bee, making many friends as she designed and sewed her quilts. Ruth loved the time spent with her friends at quilting shows and retreats and relating her her many quilting adventures to her family. Throughout her life, Ruth enjoyed cooking meals for large groups, traveling with family members and reading, especially mystery, cooking and gardening books. Ruth loved keeping up with the news and sharing her strong political views. Always up for fun and adventure, she was willing to give anything a try. She was a good sport, able to laugh at herself, and made the best of what life threw her way. Stubborn and determined, she lived her life independently and as she saw fit. And she passed away exactly as she wanted and planned for. Ruth will be greatly missed by her sisters, Marian Kenter-Dwyer (Jim Dwyer, Alex and Helen), Karen Kenter-Potty ( Mike Potty and Aaron Kenter with Rachael), relatives and friends. Her family would like to thank “Ruth's Posse” for the unflagging support of Ruth and all they meant to her. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in memory of Ruth may be made to the Heifer Fund or American Bouvier de Flandres Club of San Diego.


  • Private Family Memorial Service

Ruth Gisela McNeil

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Chris Freeman

June 20, 2018

I loved this woman, she was so caring and loving, she truly cared about people. I met her at Social Security and we just bonded over the years, she helped me many times get through life issues. I will surely miss her wisdom, her friendship and our talks, which were always enlightening 🌹
My condolences to her family 😒