Ruth Mary Kamerling Klotz died in peace at her home Tuesday, December 9, 2008. Ruth is loved by her husband of 62 years, James A. Klotz, children Peter, Christine, Daniel, sister Grace Zabel, brother Rev. Garry Kamerling, daughter-in-law Liz Klotz-Chamberlin, son-in-law Charles Henderson, and the grandchildren she thought about every day, Isaac Klotz, Ruth Klotz-Chamberlin, Sam Klotz, and Max Klotz.
Ruth was born July 31, 1922 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, of parents John Garrett Kamerling and Catherine Grace Debbink Kamerling. Ruth grew up in a lively extended family, Dutch on both sides, with sports, music, and church. Ruth pursued cello seriously, patiently managing her huge cello on streetcars and buses all over Milwaukee, and performed with the High School All-City Orchestra. She attended Lawrence College and achieved her BA in music education at Northwestern University. During World War II Ruth served in the Signal Corps, then became an Occupational Therapist, serving German POW's at Camp Carson, Colorado.
Ruth married Jim Klotz in 1946. Always ready for adventure, Ruth and Jim moved to Fullerton, California in 1948, and while they raised their family, moved to Taft, California, Abqaiq and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia in 1958, Crystal Lake, Illinois, back to Fullerton in 1966, and to Santa Cruz in 1990. Ruth and Jim loved to camp and sail and travel together. They delighted in exploring Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Greece, and Europe with their children. Ruth and Jim traveled to China, Eastern Europe, the Arctic Circle, and the South Pacific. Ruth discovered family relatives in the Netherlands, initiating lasting relationships with them.
Ruth nurtured her passion for music, playing cello in orchestras and chamber music groups. She led church choirs in Fullerton, Crystal Lake, and Saudi Arabia. Ruth co-founded Fullerton Friends of Music. She was an accomplished painter, loved skiing, tennis, and golf. She enjoyed watching baseball and tennis players at their competitive best, and playing her extensive classical music collection up loud.
Ruth lived with dignity, respect, elegance, love of beauty, art and nature. Ruth delighted in her grandchildren, in their adventures and their music. Ruth was an active member of First Congregational Church of Santa Cruz with her husband Jim.
Ruth was a life-long Christian seeker, and avid reader of the Bible, Bible commentaries, theology, mysteries, current events, and politics. Ruth led an active prayer life. She worked for peace with the Catholic Worker and Fellowship of Reconciliation, and supported many charities for service, peace, and justice.
A memorial service to celebrate Ruth Klotz will be conducted at First Congregational Church of Santa Cruz, Thursday, December 18, 10:00 AM. If you wish to make a contribution to celebrate her passion, chose your favorite charity, or one of her favorites: First Congregational Church www.fccsantacruz.org, the Fellowship of Reconciliation www.forusa.org, or the Resource Center for Nonviolence www.rcnv.org.
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Dec. 14, 2008