Ruth A. Rich

1956-08-30 - 2021-12-19

Funeral Home: Steger Funeral Home 125 E. Steger Road (34th Street) Steger IL (Map-it)


Service Date: 2022-03-28

Service Time: 5pm

Info: 708-755-3400

Web: (Go)

Ruth Rich, of Crete, IL, passed peacefully on December 19th, 2021, at the age of 65, after battling a long illness.  She was born on August 30th, 1956 in Evansville, IN.

Ruth completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois and then obtained her master’s degree at Governor’s State.  She taught Spanish at Rich Central High School for over 30 years.  Ruth’s life’s work was education – she was a dedicated teacher and very active in the schoolteacher’s union.  She took her students on annual summer trips to Spain to enrich their learning of the Spanish language and culture.  We’d like to think that Ruth’s legacy lives on through her students and their futures.  To this day, Ruth’s students reflect on not only the language skills, but the life lessons that she imparted on them.  

During retirement, Ruth enjoyed crocheting blankets and hats for premature babies at local hospitals.  Her great nieces and nephews also enjoyed receiving many of her hand-crafted gifts each year.  She also kept busy through her active support of Habitat for Humanity.  

Ruth loved music.  She was honored to be a part the Park Forest singers, and later, the highly regarded Grant Park singers. 

Ruth is survived by sister Nancy (Jay) Abell, brother David (Vicki) Rich, and nieces Jen (Craig) Abell-Champion, Penny (Brian) Ohlendorf, Becky Rich, Elizabeth (Adam) Sheinkopf, Amanda (Dan) Filsinger, and Dawn (Tyler) Martin.  She is also survived by many great-nieces and -nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Katherine (nee Lanham) and Noble Rich.  

A memorial gathering is on Monday, March 28th from 3pm until 6pm with a 5pm service at the funeral home.

Arrangements entrusted to Steger Funeral Home, 125 E Steger Road (34th Street), Steger, IL.   Info: call (708) 755-3400. 



  1. John M. Davis on December 23, 2021 at 4:13 pm
    My condolences to the family and friends of Ruth Rich. She will be missed by us all.

  2. Judy Lohr-Safcik on December 24, 2021 at 1:20 am
    Ruth was a terrific champion of education both in an out of the classroom. She was a highly formidable adversary at the bargaining table and she was highly respected for it. And she was my friend. Condolences to her family. There is a huge hole left in the heart of all who knew her.

  3. Bill & Henrietta Hayes on December 24, 2021 at 7:46 am
    We will keep Ruth and her family in our prayers. We extend our deepest sympathy to her family.

    Bill & Henrietta Hayes

  4. Mike and Irene Pohlman on December 26, 2021 at 4:36 pm
    Our sincerest sympathy to Ruth’s family. She is gone much too soon. We knew her as an educator at Bloom Township High Schools and Rich Township High schools.
    Mike and Irene Pohlman

  5. Kelly Gutierrez on December 28, 2021 at 7:59 pm
    Condolences to the family. I met Ruth as a teacher at Bloom Township.

  6. Leonard Jones on December 29, 2021 at 4:08 pm
    I was a big fan of Ruth when we sang together in the Park Forest Singers. I’m sorry she wasn’t able to enjoy more of her retirement.

  7. Lauren C. Senter RC c/o 2003 & UIUC c/o 2007 on December 31, 2021 at 6:01 pm
    Ms. Ruth A. Rich was a strong tough teacher and the reason I’m bilingual in English and Spanish. I’ll miss her and to her family I offer my heartfelt condolences in the loss of a great Teacher and person overall.

  8. Richard Hein on January 2, 2022 at 10:51 am
    My condolences…💔

  9. Mary Johnston on January 2, 2022 at 1:49 pm
    My condolences to Ruth’s family! Ruth and I took Spanish classes together at RCHS, and in a later conversation with Ruth we were amazed and thankful for where those classes took us throughout our lives.

  10. Suzanne Meinheit on January 3, 2022 at 9:17 am
    Sincere sympathy to Ruth’s family. She was a positive force for good and died much too young.

  11. Rachna Prasad on January 13, 2022 at 7:36 pm
    Please let us know if any former students can be there for her service. She meant a lot to me.

  12. Briana Hicks on January 18, 2022 at 10:34 pm
    Señorita Rich, you will be missed dearly. Praying for the family and sending my deepest condolences.

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