Carolyn “Ruth” Fleeger, 79, passed away on Saturday, October 28, 2017.
Ruth was born May 22, 1938 in Butler, Pennsylvania to Charles and Helen (Burris) Kaufman. One of six children, Ruth grew up in the difficult World War II time of ration cards - which she still had. She walked to school in the plentiful snow of Pennsylvania winters and one of her most despised chores as a child was to clean the birdbath. She learned how to ride a bicycle on a red brick road and she enjoyed being a Rainbow Girl, which provided leadership training through community service. She loved singing and was a member of the Butler High School choir until her graduation in 1956.
Ruth met the love of her life, James Lee Fleeger, on a blind date and they were married on September 27, 1957. During their marriage, they were blessed with three children: David, Denise, and Chuck. During the course of their life together, they moved several times for Lee’s education and research. These stops included Penn State, University of Delaware, University of Illinois and “The” Ohio State University. Finally, their travels brought them to Texas A&M, where they were able to put down roots. Ruth was a wonderful mother, and one of her favorite memories was her trip to Tanzania for her son David’s wedding. She loved getting to participate in the cultural aspects of the wedding there.
She worked for Texas A&M University in the Department of Agricultural Engineering for many years. Her organization and always “knowing a guy” who could do whatever needed doing helped her in that career. Ruth was an incredibly meticulous person, she had impeccable handwriting, was a fast typist, and was a whiz at spelling and short hand. She spent over a quarter of a century working as a legal secretary for Hugh Lindsay before retiring to be a full time Grandma in 2012.
Ruth was the ultimate hostess at all times, gracious and generous to a fault. Whenever she went out to eat with someone, she had to be the one to pay the check, and was always the last to eat. She also loved helping people out at church. A founding member of Peace Lutheran Church, she purchased the first set of hand bells for the hand bell choir. She also was she was the 1989 Volunteer of the Year for Family Outreach. She also enjoyed her work with Habitat For Humanity. One of Ruth’s biggest role models was Mother Theresa, and she tried to emulate that love of all people through her volunteerism.
In her free time, Ruth enjoyed sitting down and reading a good book while eating Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups. Her favorite things to read were crime mysteries, romance, and non-fiction. The feisty side of her also came out with her daily habit of watching All My Children. She may have hated cleaning the birdbath as a kid, but she always had a hummingbird feeder filled for “Ruby,” which was her name for all the hummingbirds. One of the favorite things she ever did was getting to go on a hot air balloon ride.
Grandma Ruth leaves behind a large family: Her son and daughter-in law David Lee and Flora Fleeger, her daughter and son-in-law Denise Lynn and Harvey Haney, her son and daughter-in-law Charles “Chuck” Ross and Angela Fleeger, her grand-daughter Abigail “Abby” Jean Rutledge and her husband Shawn Bates, her granddaughter Katherine Ann Haney, her granddaughter Kristin Nicole French and her husband Logan, her grandson Joseph Lee Fleeger, her grandson James Craig Fleeger, and her six month old great-grandson Kingsley Charles French. Her grandchildren will miss hearing her call to say, “Hi, it’s just grandma.”
Her family would like to invite you to help celebrate Ruth’s life by joining them at a visitation on Saturday, November 4, 2017 from 4 to 6 pm at Hillier Funeral Home of Bryan. Her funeral service will be Sunday, November 5 at Peace Lutheran at 2:30 pm. She will be laid to rest next to her beloved husband Lee at College Station City Cemetery immediately following the service. There will be a reception following the burial at Peace Lutheran Church. In lieu of flowers we request donations to Hospice Brazos Valley.