By the grace of God, Ruth Rose Essmann was called to her eternal home on December 13, 2021, at the age of 100 years and seven days. She was born December 6th of 1921 in rural Plainview, Minnesota, the daughter of Henry and Rose (Dewner) Lawrenz. Her family included an older brother, Ralph, and a younger sister, Alice. She was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel Ev. Lutheran Church in Plainview where she attended elementary school. She was a graduate of Plainview High School.
Working as a telephone operator was her life’s service beginning with the Pioneer Telephone Company in Plainview and later for AT&T in Winona, MN, Watertown, WI, and Madison, WI, where she later retired.
On June 9th, 1956, Ruth was married to the Rev. Harold A. Essmann at St. Matthew’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Winona, Minnesota. She followed her husband to serve in Lusaka, Zambia, Africa, at St. Michael’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Fountain City, Wisconsin, and St. John Ev. Lutheran Church in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Later she followed her husband as they served as missionaries in Bulgaria for the Wisconsin Ev. Lutheran Synod. She traveled to 35 different countries on mission trips or on vacation. She and her husband retired to Appleton, Wisconsin.
She was the mother of three children, Rhoda and David born in Africa and Michele born in Winona, Minnesota.
Survivors include two children, Rhoda (Rev. Dennis) Belter and Michele (Reg) Pfeifer, both of Appleton, Wisconsin. Seven grandchildren including Amy (William) Pavlakos, Rev. Jeremy (Kelsey) Belter, Jillian (Keith) Huot, Nicole (Jared) Dorn, Kirsten (Joshua) Schwartz, Zachary Belter and fiancée Sarah Kanoy, and Emily (Ben) Zehner. Ten great-grandchildren and three step-great-grandchildren survive as well as nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, a brother, a sister, and a son, David Harold Essmann.
The Christian Funeral Service for Ruth will take place at 11:00 AM on January 5, 2022, at Riverview Evangelical Lutheran Church, located at 136 W. Seymour Street in Appleton, with Rev. Dennis Belter and Rev. Jeremy Belter officiating. Interment will take place at Highland Memorial Park. Visitation will begin at 9:00 AM the morning of the service. Memorials can be given to Riverview Church Building Fund or Multi-Language Productions, a mission arm of WELS.
For more information or to share a memory with the family, please visit www.wichmannfuneralhomes.com. The family would like to thank the staff of Appleton Retirement Community and ThedaCare Hospice for their care.
“Be faithful to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10b).