Harry J. Will Funeral Home

37000 W Six Mile Road, Livonia, MI


Ruth M. Schonhoff

May 25, 1925July 10, 2019

Ruth Marie Schonhoff May 25, 1925 – July 10, 2019

Mom slipped away peacefully this week after a brief illness, having lived her 94 years to the fullest. Born during the Great Depression, Ruth learned the value of caring for other people whenever she had something of value to give. We were reminded during these past two months of how many lives she touched, as she never spent a single day without visitors, calls, or letters.

When her own parents passed away far too young, she dedicated her early life to helping raise her youngest brothers. As a young mother of three, Ruth found rewarding work in the Livonia Public Schools, teaching children with a range of severe disabilities. When she coached a child to some breakthrough, like saying their first words or mastering some important physical task, Mom cherished that memory as if the children were her own. Later in life, having lost her beloved husband Walter, Ruth found fulfillment as a Stephen Minister at her church. Volunteering her time and compassion to families in crisis seemed a natural fit for her, and she leaves yet another legacy there – families whose lives are forever better because of Mom’s dedicated, compassionate care.

In her ‘80s and ‘90s, Mom continued working at her church to give what she could to those in need. She cooked meals for the homeless, enough to feed 30 people at a time, and those she fed were often amazed to learn that a woman of her age had somehow found the strength to provide for them. Mom was very proud of her independence, living in and maintaining her home and still driving. She was also a passionate fan and supporter of the Detroit Tigers, watching every game and attending a few games every year with close friends.

Ruth was preceded in death by her loving husband Wally, daughter Kristen, and four siblings, Ralph, Evelyn, Howard and Norman. She is survived by her two sons Tom (Kelda) and Don (Jean) Schonhoff. She had three grandchildren, Ryan, Nick, and Grant.

In honor of Mom’s service to the homeless in Detroit, we ask that those of you who feel moved to contribute in some way, please consider supporting Mom’s favorite cause.

Family of God 7354 Whittaker St Detroit, MI 48209


Memorial services will be held as follows:

Visitation: Sunday, July 14 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM Harry Will Funeral Home 37000 W. Six Mile Road Livonia, Mi 48152

Funeral service: Monday July 15 at 11:00 AM Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church 14175 Farmington Rd Livonia, Mi 48154


  • Ruth was preceded in death by her loving husband Wally, daughter Kristen, and four siblings, Ralph, Evelyn, Howard and Norman. She is survived by her two sons Tom and Don Schonhoff. She had three grandchildren.


  • Visitation Sunday, July 14, 2019
  • Funeral Service Monday, July 15, 2019


Ruth M. Schonhoff

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Kaitie Root

July 14, 2019

I always seem to get a lot of chuckles when I start talking about my friend Ruth because she happened to be 94 beautiful years young. I say young because she was young at heart- she had a spark that kept her living her life to the fullest and keeping her independence at such an age. Yes, I may have only *just* done her nails over the last 5 years, but of those approximately 150 visits, I sat with her and learned about her beautiful life. She had a family that she was incredibly proud of, friends that she adopted into family, and people she looked after despite her age and ailments. She shared memories starting from the Great Depression all the way to her current travels of just last year. I heard about her outings to the casino, trips to tigers games, birthday dinners with friends and her trips to Seattle and Denver. But what stood out the most was her faith in God. She lived what she preached and she helped every person she could. She strengthened my faith just by exuding hers. She loved her church and fellow parishioners and spent much of her time taking part in church activities.

Ruth was a friend that welcomed me into her home and offered support and wisdom. Our friendship came so easily and it’s something I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life. I will miss her smile, I will miss her homemade chocolates and thoughtful cards, but mostly I’ll just miss my friend. Rest In Peace, Ruth.


July 13, 2019

I shall always be indebted to Ruth Schonhoff, and the Schonhoff family. Though my relationship with her beloved daughter, Kristen was short, after Kristen's death, Ruth and I became very close. She was like a mother to me, and I always lovingly called her "Mom Ruth". Her strength, and her strong faith in God, was amazing. She always had kind, and encouraging words for me during rough times, and was always concerned about my own family, and grand daughter. I celebrated many holidays, birthdays, and even special events at her church with her. She even tried to get me to sing with her church choir! She was just an amazing, remarkable, strong willed person. I truly wished I had her stamina, especially with everything she had endured in her lifetime. On the day just before her death, she said goodbye to me, and thanked me for all I did for her and her family. She said" I'm going to be with Jesus now..." And she said a special blessing to me, and wished me well. Through tears of sadness, it is very hard to say goodbye to her. Tom, Don, and kids, all of you will always hold a special place in my heart, and of course, Mom Ruth. God bless all of you, and Mom, be now at peace. I love you, all. Jeff

Diana and Tim Donahue

July 11, 2019

A cherished neighbor for 27 years , we will miss you and your kindness,
Tim and Diana

Chris and Larry Walczyk

July 11, 2019

Condolences to Tom and Don.

Your Mom was our very treasured neighbor for over 30 years. She shared mothering skills which were so appreciated raising 3 boys. Loved to hear her stories about your family, she was so very devoted to her family. We shared a common affection for Hummel figurines, there was a story with each and every one. We later shared the love for grandchildren. She was so proud of each of her grandchildren. And her flowers, they reflect your Mom, her caring and beauty.

When your Mom was recovering after her hospital stay, we were so very impressed with her confidence, understanding and peacefulness. She was so strong in her religious beliefs which brought her such peace.

Tom and Don, cherish all your special moments. Your Mom was loved by all. She truly will be missed. Ruth was a very special person.

Larry and Chris