Ruth Loehrl (Jones)
Ruth D. Loehrl, age 90, of Janesville died on Monday, February 5, 2018 at her home with family nearby. She was born in Janesville on March 9, 1927, the daughter of the late Allie and Ida (Hale) Jones. Ruth graduated from Janesville High School in 1944 and married Joseph F. Campion in 1948. She later married George L. Loehrl in 1986 and he predeceased her in 2009. Ruth has been a longtime member of Rock Prairie United Presbyterian Church.
In grade school, Ruth received a city-wide award for her art work, which served as the precursor for the lifelong pursuit of portraiture, including a wide variety of subjects. After high school, she worked briefly as an inspector on the 155mm line at General Motors and as a phone operator in Michigan. She settled in the life of a homemaker after marrying in 1948 and seven children followed. When her third, fourth and fifth children were born with Cystic Fibrosis she devoted herself to raising awareness for a cure. Her leadership led to a Wisconsin Mother of the Year Award the Carol Award from the Chamber of Commerce Auxiliary in 1959.
At the request of one of her children, the family adopted a St. Bernard, which lead to raising the breed at the family home on Read Rd. In turn, this led to a dog grooming business in the house and eventually to a shop in a vet clinic on Milwaukee Ave and Mt. Zion Ave. from 1968 to 1995. Her youngest daughter eventually took over the business. During this period Ruth was active in the La Prairie Grange and 4H.
Her marriage to George Loehrl opened the door to the full-time pursuit of her passion, portraiture. She studied painting at the University of Wisconsin-Rock County and under some well- known artists in New York and New Orleans. Ruth also joined the Art League in Janesville and reached out to local artists to learn from them as well. She became accomplished at portraiture using pencil drawings, oil paintings, charcoal, and pastels; often asking for photographs and then selling or giving her work away to those who asked. Her work was featured in art shows in Madison and other cities and a life-sized portrait of Lincoln is in the Historical Society as well as work in the Tallman house. For her church, she painted a life-sized portrait of Jesus that is on display. Allied interests included sewing, knitting, crocheting, and chair caning. Sweaters, scarves, afghans, flowed to family and friends over the years.
She is survived by her longtime companion: Bill Eberhardt of Janesville; and her children: JP (Marcia Spiller) Campion of Atlanta, GA, Marcia (Edward) Teubert of Janesville, James Campion of Palatine, IL, Carol (James Gaboury) Gilson of Kansas City, MO, and half-sister Alana (David) Wilgus of Brookfield; 10 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren. In addition to her parents and husband, she was predeceased by three children who died from Cystic Fibrosis: Michael, Judy, and Cathy; and two sisters: Aline Jones and Darlene Flynn.
The family is deeply grateful for the efforts of Mercy Hospice and Home Instead for their unflagging and loving support during Ruth’s illness.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, February 9, 2018 at Rock Prairie United Presbyterian Church with Rev. Jamie Swanson officiating. Visitation will be on Friday from 10:00 AM until the time of the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-Wisconsin Chapter, 400 S. Executive Dr., Suite 109, Brookfield, WI 53005.