Violet Ruth Wolfgram

DEFOREST  --   Violet Ruth Wolfgram passed away on Monday, June 8, 2015 at Artisan Assisted Living, in DeForest, Wisconsin. 

Known as Peachy to her parents and siblings on Cape Cod, and as Ruth when she raised her children in Vermont, she became Ruthie and Grandma Ruthie as the days went by and she moved to Rotterdam, NY and finally to Wisconsin.  Ruthie always had an artistic flair and an entrepreneurial drive.  Her artful creativity showed up in the form of charcoal and pencil sketches of family members, pets and interesting strangers; she also dabbled in oil painting, created hundreds of dried flower arrangements that she called “beautifuls”, and later moved on to pressed flower, fern and leaf pictures under glass. 

Her entrepreneurial side found its expression in the world of sales.  From her earliest married days, she worked with her husband Dick as a traveling saleswoman.  Together they sold a variety of goods, but they particularly enjoyed and did well in the photography business.  When she and Dick moved with their children Cory and Steve to Vermont in 1960, she and Dick ran a photography studio and she started a sign painting business—G&W Signs, with Libby Garneau.  The sign business allowed her to use her artistry and her sales abilities, and she and Libby had a great time creating designs and painting everything from signs outside of businesses to school buses and oil delivery trucks. 

The stories she told in her final years often focused on the time that she was living in Rotterdam, NY in the cute little house owned by her brother Gerry and his wife Mac.  She reminisced about her grandchildren, Chad and Erica, and her great-grandchildren, Andrew, Amber, Cierra and Cydney.  Some of her most animated stories came from her years as a salesperson for Under Cover Wear, the lingerie firm for which she conducted home parties.  As part of her compensation as one of the top sales people in the nation, Ruthie won vacation trips to Australia, Rome, Hawaii and Thailand.  She was so successful that on many of her trips, she won two tickets and was able to take along a second person. 

Told with eyes wide and arms flailing she would joyfully recount how, on the trip to Australia while seated in first class with her guest and in-law, Ann Frost, Ann told the flight attendant as they approached the equator crossing that they should have a glass of whiskey.  The flight attendant brought Ruthie and Ann the bottle, and left it.  While she struck a more respectful tone when talking about her trip to Rome and looking up at the Pope from Vatican Square, her tales from Thailand were rollicking.  From the locals staring and pointing at her bright red hair—she loved it—to the “mild” soup that set her mouth on fire, and finally to her riding the mother elephant while Cory rode the baby elephant.    

Ruthie is survived by her brothers and sisters and their spouses: Gerry and Eleanor Pierce, David and Barbara Pierce, Eleanor and John Cunningham and Carol and Willie Nobre.  She is also survived by her two children and their spouses: Cory Wolfgram and John Burton and Steve and Jane Wolfgram, numerous nieces and nephews and by grandchildren Andrew, Amber, Cierra, and Cydney Wolfgram and by Carter Webster and Kai Williams, as well as by great-great grandson Cayden Wolfgram.  She is also survived by her former daughter-in-law, Jo, who stayed in close touch with Ruthie over 40 years. 

At her request, a simple family ceremony is being held on Cape Cod in the Fall.



For information please call 608 742-2126 (Portage, WI) or 608 635-2763 (Poynette, WI)