Ruth Hentschel, 92, a Havre resident since coming to America with her family in 1952, died in her sleep Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006, while staying in loving care with her daughter, Inga Goebel.
A prayer vigil and rosary will be held at 7 p.m. today in the Holland & Bonine Funeral Chapel, with her funeral Mass at 2 p.m. Tuesday at St. Jude Catholic Church with the Rev. Robert D. Grosch officiating. Burial will follow at Highland Cemetery. A fellowship luncheon will be held immediately after the graveside service at St. Jude Parish Center.
Ruth was born Feb. 21, 1913, in Berlin, Germany, and grew up in the Schlesian Alps in Sudetenland. While helping her mother sell confections next door to a movie theater, she met Alfred Hentschel; they married in November 1933. They owned and operated a radio/bike store in Neisse, Germany, until World War II broke out. In January 1945, while Alfred was away in Luftwaffe because of the war, Ruth was forced to flee with her children, Inga and Fred, and sisters, Inge and Ilse. They traveled through Dresden, and eventually settled in Langenprising, Bavaria. Her daughter, Sylvia, and son, Ray, were born in Wartenberg, Bavaria.
Ruth's sister, Ilse, married and moved to Montana, then helped Ruth and Alfred and their children arrange immigration to America. They boarded the former troop ship, the General Taylor, and arrived in New York, then traveled by train to Havre, where Alfred began working for the Great Northern Railway and St. Jude Thaddeus School, while Ruth cooked for the priests at St. Jude's. Ruth's sister, Inge, her husband, Henry, and their children arrived the next year.
Ruth enjoyed taking pictures, crocheting lace tablecloths, cooking and baking. She traveled to Europe several times, taking Ray and Sylvia with her in 1964, and granddaughter Cari in 1975. In 1992, she and daughter, Inga, were able to return to visit their homeland, which is now divided between the Czech Republic and Poland.
Family and the Lord were most important to her in her life. She was the most loving, kind, caring and generous person, always putting others' needs before her own. Ruth loved spending quality time with her grandchildren, singing and telling them old stories. She very much enjoyed spending time out in Beaver Creek Park with friends and family.
Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, Alfred in 1991; parents; sister, Ingeborg (Henry) Bergler; niece, Elenore Szafryk; and nephew, Gregory Peck.
Survivors include her children, Inga (John) Goebel, Ray (Julie) Hentschel of Havre, Alfred “Fred” (Virginia) Hentschel of Spokane Wash., and Sylvia (Gary) Funk of Stevensville; sister, Ilse Wagner of Havre; grandchildren, Nick (Jana) Goebel, Cari (Jerry) Goebel-Frahm, Alan Hentschel, Ray (Stephanie) Hentschel, Richard (Jacquelyn) Hentschel, Tami (Rick) Carlson and Garrett Hentschel, all of Havre, Carissa (Paul) Renfroe, Ty (Michelle) Hentschel and Shauna Warner all of Spokane, Wash., Jim (JoAnne) Goebel of Butte, Angela Funk of Missoula, Sonya (Nate) Funk-Olin of Massachusetts and Natalie (Howard) Spradling of Ohio; 19 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; three nieces; and one nephew.
Memorials in Ruth's honor can be sent to St. Jude Thaddeus Elementary School Scholarship Fund.
Services and arrangements have been entrusted to Holland & Bonine Funeral Home.