Ruth W. MacPhail
February 1, 1930 – April 12, 2019
Ruth Emilie Wachholz-MacPhail, age 89, passed away peacefully in her sleep on April 12, 2019, at Advocate Condell Hospital in Libertyville, IL. She was born February 1, 1930, in Chuckery, OH the youngest of 8 siblings (Paul, John, Magdeline, Edward, Eleanor, Mary, Helen) to Rev. Conrad John Stephen and Elizabeth (Krentz) Wachholz. Since Ruth grew up with her father being a Lutheran Minister, she was proud of her religious heritage and remained devoted to the faith all her life. She was a graduate of Valparaiso University in Indiana, where all of her siblings also attended. She spoke of her days at Valpo throughout her life, as she was very proud of her family’s accomplishments there and continued to keep in touch with her sorority sisters through Round Robin letters and by attending Valpo reunion events. After graduating from Valpo, she began her working career at the Quaker Oats Company in downtown Chicago at the Merchandise Mart, where she met her late-husband Robert Bruce MacPhail (4/25/1929-12/5/2014). They married on October 3, 1953. She became the mother of two surviving children, Stephen Michael and Susan Mary. She took part-time jobs at places like Carson Pirie Scott or administrative jobs in offices, but she mostly focused on being a stay-at-home Mom while her children were minors. She then re-entered the office management field when they were grown and out of the house.
Their first home as a married couple was in Rolling Meadow, IL. Over the years they also lived in Mount Prospect and Arlington Heights, IL, and then moved to Woodland Hills, CA for 8 years. In 1981 they relocated back to the Midwest to Deerfield, IL. In late 1982 they moved to Appleton, WI, where they opened their own Employee Benefits Firm servicing small businesses. The firm was named MacPhail & Assoc, where Ruth became Vice President and Office Manager. When they retired in 1990, they settled in Gurnee, IL for the remainder of their married lives to be near their daughter Susan and her daughters. When Robert passed away, Ruth moved into Oak Hills Supportive Living in Round Lake Beach, IL.
She loved flowers, birds and horses. She planted petunias in the yard of every home she lived and she especially enjoyed having a potted jasmine plant near the front door to welcome visitors with the sweet aroma. She enjoyed music, especially classical. If asked who her favorite composer was, she would answer: “the three B’s – you know, Bach, Bach and Bach.” She, along with her sisters Helen and Mary attended the annual Green Lake Choral Institute Program more than once, participating in the Green Lake Festival of Music at the Lawrence University Memorial Church, directed by the late Sir David Valentine Willcocks. Ruth loved to travel to Europe with her sisters. It wasn’t long until Robert also got the travel bug. Together they enjoyed many trips touring all parts of Europe, Canada, America and the Holy Land, often accompanied by her sister Helen and Helen’s late husband Lester. She instilled the love of travel in her son and daughter, as well as her granddaughters. She took her granddaughters on a trip to Disney World Florida and accompanied them on a trip to Washington DC. She also took them on a driving trip through Central Wisconsin, including going to House On The Rock, where she would often say that every person alive should go visit at least once in their lifetime. She loved history, the study of language and reading. She was a straight A student majoring in English at Valpo, so she often found humor in word puns or in pointing out comical mistakes made in others’ less than perfect grammar. She, along with her sister Helen, attended the Oxford University Summer Programme in English Literature from July 6 to26, 1997, completing courses in Shakespeare and Romantics at Exeter College Oxford on the ancient Turl Street site. She loved to look at the sky and found enjoyment in pointing out shapes in the clouds that resembled animals. She was very close to her siblings, their spouses and children throughout her life. She lived for family events that would bring the family together and she spoke often about her family’s history and her numerous cherished childhood memories.
She is survived by many who hold her dear, including the biggest joys of her life - her six granddaughters. Stephen’s daughters, Kailyn, Brynne and Taryne, live out of state. She spoke to them often, displayed pictures of them throughout her home and visited as much as she could, often at Christmas time. Susan’s daughters, Christin, Jacqui and Rosie, live closer and were blessed by her close presence. She is also survived by her great-grandchildren, Kailyn’s children Emma (3) and Elijah (1) who recently came from out of state with Kailyn and Brynne to visit and she was very grateful and delighted to meet the little ones for the first time. Christin’s children, Caleb (15), Maggie (13), and Jax (6), as well as Rosie’s son Ezra (3), also enjoyed time with her on a regular basis. She is also survived by her sisters Eleanor and Helen, as well as many nephews and nieces, including their children. She loved her family dearly and expressed it strongly, proudly enumerating their many accomplishments to anyone who would listen.
A celebration of life service will be held at Faith Lutheran Church, located at: 680 Deerpath, Lake Forest, IL on May 18th with the Visitation from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m., and Service from 11:00 a.m. to Noon. The burial will follow on Sunday, May 19th at 11:00 a.m. in Central Wisconsin at Westfield Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Faith Lutheran Church. Those wishing to share a memory or sign the guestbook online may do so at: www.MarshFuneralHome.com
9:30 am - 11:00 am
Faith Lutheran Church
680 Deerpath Rd.
Faith Lutheran Church
680 Deerpath Rd.
Ruth W. MacPhail
Jan Castillo - Oak Hill Supportive Living Community
April 16, 2019
Ruth will always be remembered as a very kind and articulate woman. Thank you for sharing her with us, we will miss her.