Ruth Champlin (Brenenstuhl)
Ruth Irene Howard (Brenenstuhl) Champlin, 92, passed away on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 at Medilodge of Portage in Portage, Michigan.
Born on September 2, 1925, in Pownal, Vermont, Ruth was the eldest of eight children. Her parents were the late Edwin Howard and the late Lucina (Sanders) Howard. She grew up in Vermont until moving to Hoosick Falls, New York before her senior year, graduating from Walter A. Wood High School in 1944. She also graduated from St. Joseph’s Business School in Bennington, Vermont (now Southern Vermont College) in 1946 and continued to work in Bennington at the County National Bank for 10 years. During this time, Ruth married Edwin Eugene Brenenstuhl on May 16, 1951. They built a house on River Road just outside the village of Hoosick Falls. Here they brought up their two daughters, Jane (born in 1953) and Carol (born in 1955). Ruth worked as the District Treasurer of Hoosick Falls Central School for many years. Throughout this time, she especially enjoyed camping and traveling with family and friends. They trekked with their travel trailers around the country and in Canada. Ruth was a devout Christian whose life could serve as an example to others. She loved to read, knit, sew, play the piano, watch and participate in parades, hosting parties (Easter breakfasts, Christmas Eve gatherings, Memorial Day picnics, etc.) and she adored conversing with everyone. She often said that a stranger is just someone you haven’t talked to yet.
Ruth was also a very active and dedicated volunteer in the community. She was a lifetime member of the Hoosick Grange and Town of Hoosick Rescue Squad where she served as a first aid instructor and EMT for many years. She was a long time member of the King’s Daughters Organization and the Order of the Eastern Star. She was also an active member of the First United Church, Presbyterian in Hoosick Falls where she served in many capacities including Sunday School teacher, Sunday School Superintendent, Children’s Story Teller, co-chair of the (former) annual Holiday Bazaar, and director of the (former) annual Hanging of the Greens holiday celebration. As a leader in the church, she was one of the first female Session members and she was the first delegate from Hoosick Falls to attend the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA. For many, Ruth is most remembered for her active participation in Girl Scouts for 40 years! She was known as “Mrs. B” to countless troops of girls in the Hoosick Falls area. She was the leader of both Cadette and Senior Girl Scout troops. “Mrs. B” took numerous girls troop camping at the former Camp Little Notch outside of Fort Ann, NY and led many bus trips to Hershey, PA and Washington, DC. She also organized and directed Girl Scout Day Camp for 20 summers on the grounds of Hoosick Falls Central School and the last few years on her own property. She was a vibrant part of her many endeavors!
After retiring from Hoosick Falls Central School in 1983, Ruth and her husband of 46 years, Ed, spent their winters at Southern Aire RV Park in Thonotosassa, Florida where they volunteered at the Florida State Fair and where Ruth directed an annual variety show for nineteen years. In 1987, Ruth spent two months traveling across the country and joining a caravan of campers to visit Alaska with Ed and her sister-in-law, Norma Brenenstuhl. This was one of her favorite trips.
Ruth earned many awards for her dedication to numerous organizations. She received awards of appreciation from the Hoosick Falls Alumni Association, Town of Hoosick Rescue Squad, Hudson Valley Girl Scout Council, Girl Scouts of Hoosick Falls, Southern Aire Residents Association, and she received the General Douglas MacArthur Youth Award from the Empire State Masons. Ruth loved giving her time and talents to these organizations and during her final years enjoyed reminiscing about her countless adventures!
Of all her interests, her fondest and proudest moments were the times spent with her grandchildren and step-grandchildren and sharing their successes with others. She became a grandmother in 1992 when Katie Dorset (Jane’s daughter) and Megan Michie (Carol’s daughter) were born. After the death of her husband, Ed, in 1997, Ruth continued to winter in Florida and on August 21, 1999, she married Kenneth Champlin of Portage, Michigan. She then moved to Michigan and was thrilled to expand her family to include four stepchildren and four more grandchildren whom she loved to visit and to share in their endeavors. She enjoyed the last 19 years in Michigan with her husband, Ken. They relished conversing with friends, winters in Florida, traveling and completing her quest of visiting all 50 states!
Ruth will be missed by many. Survivors include her husband, Kenneth Champlin of Portage, MI; sister-in law, Norma Brenenstuhl, of Hoosick Falls, NY; brothers George Howard of Westfield, MA and Royal Howard of Haines City, FL; daughters and sons-in-law Jane and Tom Dorset of Arlington, VA and Carol and Bob Michie of Rhinebeck, NY; granddaughters Katie Dorset of Washington, DC and Megan Michie of St. Louis, MO.; step children Deena Peters of Denver, CO, Denice Champlin of Aiken, SC, David Champlin of Portage, MI , Lori (and husband, Dave) Boase of Fletcher, NC, and; step grandchildren Danielle and Jennie Boase of Fletcher, NC, Andrew Allgaier (and wife, Joan and daughter Anneliese ) of Denver, CO ; Aaron Allgaier (and wife, Stephanie and sons, Dominick, Aiden, and Chance) of Vicksburg, MI; several nieces and nephews, extended family, and friends. Ruth was predeceased by her parents, and brothers Earl, Robert, and Harold Howard and sisters Elsie Nason and Shirley Howard.
Funeral Services will be held on Sunday, September 2 at 1:00 pm at the First United Church, Presbyterian of Hoosick Falls where Reverend Donna Elia will officiate. Interment will follow in Maple Grove Cemetery.
Relatives and friends may call at the Mahar Funeral Home, 43 Main Street, in Hoosick Falls on Saturday, September 1 from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
A Memorial Service will also be held in Portage, Michigan at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made through the funeral home to the First United Church, Presbyterian of Hoosick Falls, Hoosick Falls Girl Scouts, or Twelve Baskets Food Pantry of Portage Michigan.