Ruth Joanis

Ruth Marie Joanis (Smith)

Saturday, February 14th, 1920 - Friday, January 10th, 2020
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Ruth Marie (Smith) Joanis, age 99, passed away on January 10, 2020, under the care of Agrace Hospice at The Heights in Evansville, WI. Ruth was born on February 14, 1920, to Jacob and Ida (Isaacson) Smith in Blue Mounds, WI. Her mother died soon after Ruth was born. She graduated valedictorian from Madison East High School in 1937. Ruth went on to the University of Wisconsin Madison graduating in 1944, with a BS in nursing. She met Ken Joanis at the UW-Madison and married him on March 13, 1944, in Raleigh, North Carolina where he was serving in the US Navy during WW II. They were married for 66 years and together they raised two adopted children - daughter Mary Ann and son George.

Ruth worked at the UW Hospital from 1944 - 1947 and at Kenosha Memorial Hospital from 1947 - 1952. She taught Licensed Practical Nurses at Kenosha Technical School in the 1960’s when the school was located at the present city hall site. Ruth was a member of the AAUW, Kenosha Symphony League and volunteered for her children’s scouting and music support groups. She served on the Kenosha Homecare Services Board and the Visiting Nurses Board of Directors. She delivered Meals on Wheels for over 25 years. Ruth was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church.

Ruth and Ken spent their winters in Key Largo from 1987 - 2009. Ruth was a pleaser, loved everyone and always found the good in all people and will be missed
by many.

She is survived by her daughter, Mary Ann (Steve Kersten) Joanis; stepbrother, Don Schultz; daughter-in-law, Leslie Joanis; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Ken and her son George.

A special thanks goes out to the Lucian Rosa and the Gerald O’Callaghan families.

Visitation will be held at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church in Kenosha on Wednesday, January 15th with Mass of Christian Burial to follow at 11:00 a.m. Interment will be on Thursday, January 16th at 12:00 pm at Roselawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Madison, WI. In lieu of flowers, those desiring may make contributions to Agrace Hospice, 395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711 or a charity of your choice, in Ruth’s memory.

Proko Funeral Home & Crematory
5111-60th Street Phone: (262) 654-3533
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 | 10:00am - 11:00am
    Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am
    St. Mary Catholic Church
    7307-40th Avenue
    KENOSHA, WI 53142
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Funeral Mass

    Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 11:00am
    St. Mary Catholic Church
    7307-40th Avenue
    KENOSHA, WI 53142
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Fr. Roman Stikel
  • Interment

    Roselawn Memorial Park
    401 Femrite Dr
    Monona, Wisconsin 53716
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Love Always, Dilani and Leslie

Posted at 08:20pm
Thank you for sharing your love with us and the world. We love you! Rest in peace Grandma/ Mom.
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Kathy Hutchison

Posted at 07:38pm
Mary, your Mom was such a good friend to my Grandma Lucy and my Mom Pat over the years, and I remember visiting your parents as a child. I thought they were the kindest people I had ever met :-) Sincerest sympathy to you and yours. Your grace, love, and compassionate care for Ruth over the years was a blessing, and I'm so glad we were able to visit with you both last year. Take gentle care.

Kathy (Hall) Hutchison

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 02:51pm
In loving memory of a special lady from Sue Kass, Karen Adler-Fischer and Mike Adler.
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Posted at 10:15am
My condolences to your family. In your sorrow may there be hope, in your thoughts may there be peace, in your heart may there be be healing. Psalm 147:73 assures us "He (Jehovah God) heals the broken hearted,He binds up our wounds". May you find comfort in God's Words at this difficult time.


Posted at 04:57pm
With deepest sympathy and loving thoughts. Helen & Bill, Conrad & Casey, Ed & Jackie, Bob & Debbie, John & Karen and Sally
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