Ruth Jean Lambkin, 89, of Empire, died Oct. 24, 2017 at her home.
Ruth was born April 16, 1928, the daughter of Roland and Agnes (Bartenick) Kelderhouse. She was born at the original Coast Guard station in Glen Haven. She had an older brother, Leon Kelderhouse, who preceded her in death.
At age 8 Ruth moved to Grand Haven and later to Muskegon because her dad was in the Coast Guard. Ruth moved back to Leelanau County in her teens and attended the Shetland School House (the little red school house). Ruth attended high school in Glen Arbor and graduated as valedictorian in 1946. She lived in Port Oneida on the Kelderhouse farm during her high school years.
After high school Ruth attended County Normal in Frankfort and became a teacher. She taught kindergarten through eighth grade in a one-room school house in Bohemian Settlement. She also taught in Glen Arbor and ended up teaching kindergarten and first grade in Empire until 1953.
On June 10, 1950 she married John "Jack" Evan Lambkin from Empire. They lived in Empire until their deaths.
Ruth is survived by her three children, John Lambkin (Robin), of Grand Rapids, Roxane Gillen, of Empire, and Susan McDermont, of Grand Rapids; grandchildren, Annie Burritt (Colin) Cox, Margaret Gillen, Natalie and Cameron McDermont; and one great-grandson, Connor Cox.
Ruth had a great sense of humor and enjoyed her family and friends. During her 89 years on this earth she enjoyed dancing, golfing, playing cards, boating on Glen Lake and socializing with her friends. She had many friends that visited and comforted her until the end. She appreciated all the nice things her family and friends did for her.
Ruth was a member of the Empire Methodist Church; her church and community meant the world to her.
The family would like to thank other family members, friends (old and new) and hospice for making her transition easier. She was loved and will be missed.
Ruth's memorial service will be conducted at 1 p.m. today, Oct. 28, at the Empire United Methodist Church. Visitation will begin at noon and continue until the time of services at the church.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Empire United Methodist Church or the Empire Lions Club.
The Bennett-Barz Funeral Home in Beulah is in charge of arrangements; www.bennett-barzfuneralhome.com.
Published on October 28, 2017