In loving memory of Ruth Derousseau, “often known as Ruthie, the “Cookie Queen.” Ruth was born January 24th, 1933 in Rice Lake, WI to Arsen and Delvina (Amans) Morneau.  She passed away peacefully May 19, 2020.

When Ruth was three years old, her mother passed away.  She and her two siblings were raised on the Morneau farm by their dad and grandma. When she entered school she was not allowed to speak French, the only language she knew.  At home she was not allowed to speak English, where grandma insisted that their Canadian French roots would not be forgotten. Her grandmother taught her how to sew, bake, cook and do laundry.  By the age of eight she did all of this like a pro.  As a child she was inflicted with polio, but soon recovered.

At the age of 17, and married with two children, Ruth became the finalist in the Junior Division of the Pillsbury Bake off Competition in New York City with her infamous “Cherry Winks.”  She and Bernard enjoyed a week in the Big Apple and she won $5,000 and new kitchen appliances. On return to Rice Lake she was handed a Key to the City and enjoyed fame for awhile!! For years her “Cherry Winks” were featured on the Kellogg’s Corn Flake’s box at Christmas time. Her cookies live on!!!

On June 11, 1948 she married Bernard (Bernie) Derousseau. Together they had 16 children, 9 girls and 7 boys. She was a great, creative cook.  There was always a huge pot of something on the stove for meals.  She was always cooking, and always cleaning, and always washing diapers!!!

Ruth had big duties at home, but she also found time in working outside the home.  She was a nurses aide at St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital (later known as Heritage Manor).  This was the birth place of 15 of her children.  She waitressed at King Edward Inn, and later began her own home businesses including; The Telephone Answering Service, Ruth’s Custom Announcements, a small Print Shop, Stanley Home Products, and later opened up Quality Surplus north of town.

Ruth loved singing and playing piano!  Whether at home, at a social gathering, or the Senior Citizen Center, she loved entertaining.

Ruthie was a vibrant gracious lady.  She had the courage of a lion, temperament of a lamb, and patience of a saint. She needed these qualities in raising 16 children!  She encouraged others by radiating her enthusiasm and cheerfulness.  She motivated them.  Everyone sought her out and loved being around her.  Her usual day included one or more friends or children stopping by to visit.  She always had a 40 cup pot of coffee brewed ready to serve.  There aren’t enough words to describe this “extraordinary” woman.

Ruth had a keen insight and understanding into herself and others.  She overflowed with thoughtfulness, kindness, and compassion for others.  These virtues were limitless.  Her qualities were her wealth. By giving of herself, she became other people’s joy and treasure.  She was a terrific listener!

Her 16 children learned many virtues from her. They learned to be respectful, kind, and courteous toward others.  Her passion was God.  Her priorities were God and family.  Her unwavering faith was a huge part of her nature.  She was a devoted Catholic and was a life long member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.  She wanted that same love of God for her children and sent them to St. Joseph’s Catholic School.

Ruth is survived by her children, Katherine (Paul) Stoeberl, Springfield, VA. Cheryl Derousseau, Rice Lake, WI. Greg Derousseau, Rice Lake, WI.  Loretta (David) Brunclik, Rice Lake, WI. Mary Kay Schuld, Cathedral City, California. Renee (James) Sanders, Sparta, WI.  Gisele (Timothy) Svacina, Rice Lake and Texas,  Ann Derousseau, Chetek, WI. Anthony (Teresa) Derousseau, Somerset WI.  Andre’ Derousseau, Somerset WI. Jacque’ Derousseau, CA. Jennique’ (Charles) Crisler Rice Lake, WI.  Jahn (Andrea) Derousseau Seattles, WA. Angelique’ Derousseau, Rice Lake WI.  Montaque’ Derousseau Sioux Falls, SD.  She has many grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great-grandchildren.  She is survived by her sister Gerline McAuthor or Idaho, and many nieces and nephews.  

She was preceded in death by her son Daniel Derousseau, a grandchild Brenda Stoeberl, brother Anthony Morneau, her mother and father Delvina and Arsen Morneau, her ex-husband Bernard Derousseau, and her friend of many years, Vic Kaldenberg.

We will miss Ruth’s laughter, sense of humor, optimism and love she brought to our lives!

The family would like to thank Monroe Manor of Barron for the endless love, compassion, respect and commitment to our mom; they became family to us.  We would like to thank also Hospice for the guidance, love, and continued support during Covid-19.

Private family services will be held at this time because of the Coronavirus Pandemic due to public gatherings.  Appleyard’s Home for Funerals in Rice Lake, WI is in charge of the arrangements.

To plant a tree in memory of Ruth Derousseau as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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