Ruby Mae Warnke
December 6, 1924 – January 14, 2019
Ruby Mae (Koehnke) Warnke of Ft. Collins, Colorado died at age 94 in hospice care at McKee Medical Center in Loveland, Colorado on January 14, 2019, after a rapid decline following a fall. She was born December 6, 1924 in Elgin, Illinois, to Charles and Neva (Schairer) Koehnke. When she was twelve, her father died, leaving her mother with five children to raise during the Great Depression. As the oldest child, Ruby helped her mother by taking on many extra responsibilities. She graduated from Elgin High School in 1943. As a young adult she became involved with the Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, making many friends and becoming a devoted member of the denomination. She worked as a cost accountant for the Brethren Press over a span of 40 years starting in 1946, spending one interlude as a switchboard operator and receptionist there.
On July 14, 1968, she married Lee Warnke, a widower with three daughters, and they enjoyed 38 happy years together before his death in September of 2006. At the time they retired in 1986, she began a new chapter in her life, leaving behind the only place she had ever lived to move to Ft. Collins, Colorado. She found she loved the beauty of Colorado as well as the church home she and Lee found at the Peace Community Church of the Brethren in Windsor, Colorado, which nurtured and sustained each for the rest of their lives. During her lifetime Ruby enjoyed traveling, cheering on sports teams, reading, gardening, and bowling into her eighties. Central to her life were her family and church family.
Ruby is survived by her stepdaughters Dianne and husband Roger Perry, and Andrea Warnke and husband Geoff Brumbaugh; four step-grandchildren, Michael Chenoweth and his wife, Danielle; Jonathan Chenoweth and his wife, Elizabeth; Noah Warnke; and Alana Warnke; and two step-great-grandchildren, Abby Chenoweth; and Evan Chenoweth. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews and their families. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Lee; stepdaughter Jean Kay and husband Willy; brothers Dar and Gordon; and sisters Lois (Koehnke) Williams and Joy (Koehnke) Eagle.
Special thanks to Pathways Hospice, BLOOM at Home, and especially Laurie Hollis for the excellent and compassionate care they provided; and to her dear friends and loving congregation at Peace Community Church of the Brethren.