After a long and interesting life, Ruth Turner Rohde, 92, died in Venice, FL on January 28th, 2021. Ruth was born on February 20, 1928, the third of seven children, to Raymond and Glenna Collings Turner. She was born at home on a farm in Fountain City, where her father was a tenant farmer. Life was grim during the depression and the family was very poor. When her father secured stable employment at the Crosley factory for 85 cents an hour, the family moved to Richmond. Ruth lived in eight different homes and attended five schools as she grew up. At the age of sixteen, she lost her right eye, the unintended consequence of typical teenage horseplay. She graduated from Richmond High School in 1946 and matriculated at Earlham College on a full scholarship. She subsequently earned her teaching certificate in elementary education and an MA from Ball State University.
Ruth always had a sense of adventure. Her first teaching assignment was in Hawaii on a sugar cane plantation. She learned about opportunities to teach on US military bases in foreign countries, but it required three years experience domestically before she could apply. Since Hawaii was not yet a state, she returned to the mainland and spent the required years teaching in Gary, IN. Subsequently, she taught on military bases in Japan, the Philippines, Germany, France, England and Spain. In Germany, the base ambulance provided transportation for the teachers from the barracks to the school.
When she returned to the United States, she taught at Vaile School. Happy in her life, Ruth was content to remain single until she met Glenn Rohde, a fellow teacher and the head of the mathematics department at an Indianapolis high school. They married in their late forties in 1975 and bought a home in Indianapolis where they both continued to teach. Although raised as Lutherans, they were ecumenical in their faith and attended various churches in their communities.
After retirement in 1988, they moved to Venice, FL, but summered at their cabin in the woods in Spencer, IN where they liked to entertain extended family, with Glenn teaching the kids how to fish in their pond. They frequently took international trips with another couple, visiting Amsterdam, Paris and Belgium and enjoying river cruises. After nearly 30 years of marriage, Glenn died in 2004 while visiting their summer retreat.
After Glenn’s death, Ruth moved to Village on the Isle in Venice, FL. She enjoyed playing bridge with friends, listening to books on tape, dishing with family and friends on the phone and anticipating her annual trip to the casino, where she would joyfully play the slots until her $50 stake was gone.
Ruth had an unusually close relationship with her nieces and nephews, and they were always impressed with her optimism. Despite her vision impairments, at the age of 92, Ruth would still read the Wall Street Journal with the aid of her magnifying machine. She was savvy in her investments and remained lucid to the end, even asking for updates on the political situation.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was predeceased by her sisters, Bertha Prifogle and Sheila Reimer, her brothers, Tom Turner, Jim Turner and infant Aaron Turner, brothers-in-law Floyd Rohde, Duane Harrison and Stan Prifogle, sisters-in-law Angie Turner and Jean Rohde, niece Patty Turner and nephew James Prifogle.
She is survived by her sister, Emily Willcox (Chris), her sister-in-law, Joyce Harrison, and ten nieces and nephews: John Turner-Grey, Jean Hoff and Diane Ferlauto (Jerry Planck), all of Richmond, Sue Ann Watjen, Larry Turner, Kathleen Repsher (Stephen). Nancy McKay (Cliff), Beth Reimer, Cheryl Corajod (Brian) and David Harrison (Christine) and their children and grandchildren.
Graveside services will be at Venice Memorial Gardens. Memorial contributions can be made to the Red Cross or the Salvation Army, two of Ruth’s favorite charities.