Ruth Margaret Helwege Swan passed away April 6, 2017. She was loved and adored by three sisters (Ann, Marie, and Jean), many relatives, many friends, and Mark, her husband of 32 years. Ruthie was a giving, beautiful, and humble lady with a wonderful smile for everyone. She enjoyed local craft projects and group exercise activities that kept her happy and incredibly strong. Ruthie spoke to her sisters and friends with dogged frequency, and her dog and cat loved her attention. Her hobbies included making quilts and baskets for friends and those in need. Ruth was born on Long Island in February 1957 to Betty and Teddy Helwege. Ruth grew up in New York and earned a B.A. in Weaving Arts at NIU in Dekalb, Illinois, where she met Mark, who she married in May 1985. After 5 years in Illinois, the couple moved to Baton Rouge, where she lived for 20 years and earned an M.A. in Library Science at LSU. She loved attending classes and group meetings (in Fort Walton Beach the Bipolar and Bosom Buddies groups). She worked as a Reference Librarian at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library and San Antonio's Palo Alto College. The couple's vacations included visits to Austria, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and most U.S. states. Mark's work brought them to San Antonio for 8 years, Missouri 2 years, and Valparaiso for her last 4 years. Wherever she went, she made lots of friends. We all miss her very much. Ruthie will be laid to rest in Boston's Mt. Auburn Cemetery with her parents. In Florida, an informal service will be held Saturday, April 22, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Northwest Florida Heritage Museum in Valparaiso. In lieu of flowers, Ruth would have appreciated any donations to the Unitarian Church in Valparaiso, the Heritage Museum, cancer research, and related charities.
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