Ruth Haas Krieger, 20th August, 1945 - 28th December, 2020
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Dr. Ruth H. Krieger passed from this life on December 28, 2020 in Stillwater, OK at the age of 75. Her memorial service will begin at 7:00 p.m. Friday, January 8, 2021 at the Strode Funeral Home Chapel in Stillwater, OK. Her memorial service will be livestreamed from her personal obituary page at strodefh.com. Strode Funeral Home and Cremation is in charge of arrangements.
Her family has requested that memories be shared on her memory wall. Those memories will be incorporated and read aloud during her memorial service.
Condolences may be sent to the family and an online obituary may be viewed by visiting www.strodefh.com . In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a good cause you support, or make a donation to an animal rescue or any organization that empowers disadvantaged people to become their best selves.
Preceded in death by her parents and one sister, Marty Hamby, Ruth is survived by her husband Richard; son Christopher N. Krieger, daughter Susan Star Krieger-Dees; grandchildren Brandon Dees, Jessica Dees, Tyler Dees, and McKenna Krieger; sister Joanne Foudriat; nieces Teresa Foudriat, Beth Foudriat, Joan Feldman, and Becky Lisy; and nephews James Foudriat and Rusty Hamby.
Born to James Haas and Jesse Kerns Haas, Ruth grew up in Mt. Sterling, Ohio, a small farming town near Columbus. Losing her mother at age 10, Ruth grew up focusing on school, learning to sew, riding her horse stabled outside town, and helping her father at the family hardware store. She went to college at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, to major in marketing. When Richard “Dick” Krieger saw her in his dormitory’s common room, while she was on a date with someone else, he said, “I’m going to marry that girl!” and asked her out on a date for later that evening! She did go that date with Dick, later married him, and had two children with him, Chris and Susan.
When Ruth and Dick married, she focused on learning to be a stay-at-home mother. As she put it, sorting nuts and bolts and riding horses left gaps in her domestic skill set. She learned to cook, can, garden, and even upholster furniture, all the while raising two children while sometimes taking in ironing and mending. When her husband took a second job as a security guard to add to his teacher’s salary, she paid for an extra sidearm for his protection on layaway. Shepherding Chris and Susan through school projects, library runs, Cub Scouts, or Brownies, didn’t stop her from volunteering to teach sewing classes at Girls’ Club in downtown Cincinnati, or going to you-pick-‘em farms for produce to can in the evenings after Chris and Sue were asleep.
Ruth blended skills she acquired as a young lady and then young mother with the conviction that if she could read about something she could usually learn to do it at least passably well. She was always open to a new challenge, whether to help friend or family. With her skills, conviction, and a desire to empower others any way she could, Ruth was never bored. A passion and skill for sewing, especially custom alterations, led Ruth to many late-night sewing sessions to get someone ready for a special event, and her custom Halloween costumes for Chris, Sue, and grandchildren often drew “Wow’s.” She was often called at the last minute to hem, patch, re-zip, take in, or let out garments for others’ special occasions. When a favorite couch died, she read an upholstery book and re-upholstered said couch twice over 40+ years. That love of sewing and helping others never left her. Today stacks of mending and fabric for projects still fill her sewing shed.
After mastering domestic duties and seeing her children well into their schooling, Ruth wanted something more challenging to fill her days. She went back to work first as a Sear’s salesperson and then as a secretary for the University of Cincinnati Marketing Department. While typing professors’ papers, she thought, “I can do this.” Some people told her she couldn’t ‘just study for the LSAT and take it’ after being out of school for so long. She told her children not to let anyone tell them they couldn’t do something, took over Richard’s desk for six months to study, and aced the LSAT. Then, she ‘took 9 and taught 9’ for four years. While receiving scholarships for her own tuition and books, Ruth taught 9 quarter hours to keep her oldest in a college preparatory school and contribute to the household. She enlisted her children to help at home, taking the time to teach them the right way to do their part.
After completing her PhD in Marketing at the University of Cincinnati, Ruth and her family moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma, where she worked as an Oklahoma State University marketing professor. Dick Krieger taught in Oklahoma City public schools, and the two made a community for themselves far from other relatives.
Ruth had an unfettered mind. She had countless skills, insights, and love, and she would share them. Stereotype and custom would not keep her in or hold her down. In Ohio, she stepped out of the house to help her husband pour concrete and build a garage, took the kids camping, and learned to make jackets with longer sleeves especially for Dick, after he took a motorcycle riding course. She went into downtown areas to volunteer where many suburbanites might not go. When she went into academia, she was a minority as a woman faculty. Ignoring possible hurdles, she focused on her interest in logistics and grew to love mentoring and teaching students. Being a professor didn’t stop her from helping Dick and Chris roof the family home one summer – by hand! One of her students, Garth Brooks, sent her tickets to his first show in Stillwater after he reached national recognition as a country music artist. With all her interests and projects, Ruth still found time to travel long distances to see relatives or sightsee.
Ruth. Helped. Others. She didn’t let her own interests, loves, and challenges get in the way of being your biggest fan. Throughout her life, she sought to empower others to find their best way and be their best selves. When an incoming international student encountered hardships in a new land, Ruth and Dick’s home became her second home. When a new faculty member’s payroll was mixed up, she made sure he had living expenses until he received his back pay. Family friends coming home from war called for comfort and advice. Her children’s friends came for the same. Her son’s divorced wife called her, “Mom,” and came often to visit. Guests claimed couches after beds filled, and if the couches got full, out came air mattresses. Ruth claimed Jesse Chisolm’s epitaph, “No one ever left his home cold or hungry.” for her own.
Ruth loved animals her entire life. She had horses and dogs as a young lady. She and Dick provided wonderful homes for countless dogs and cats over the years. If you believe in reincarnation, try to come back as one of their pets! She volunteered at Tiny Paws Kitten Rescue, a Stillwater, Oklahoma cat rescue facility, during her retirement. Besides nurturing her children’s love for animals, she improved it by teaching them how to care for family pets.
Ruth never stopped loving, living and growing. She and Dick traveled nationally and internationally. If Dick wasn’t available, Ruth went on her own, whether to a Chincoteague cottage to see the ponies or car camping between hostels in New Mexico. She often traveled to see relatives and friends. Ruth always had ongoing sewing projects, stacks of mending (for others), DIY projects at home, trips to take, books to read, and visiting to do. She took industrial sewing classes late into retirement, had projects for others and herself stacked high in her sewing shed, and not long before her death talked of one more trip to Virginia to see her sister and another to England. With all her plans and projects, Ruth would drop all of them for a good read or a visit by phone or in person with family and friends. She said she only felt a little guilty pleasure for neglecting projects to read a good book, and none at all if the book was truly good.
Everyone who knew Ruth has great Ruth stories. She was truly a marvelous, flaming light for one and all. Her spirit and her example will continue to guide us. We will always miss Ruth, but may take comfort knowing that even Heaven is improved with her presence.