Ruth M. Gattman went to her heavenly home on November 17, 2021. She was born on August 12, 1932 to Rev. Hugo and Ruth (Baldwin) Bloedel in Chicago, IL. She was a graduate of Lutheran Hight School, St. Louis, Mo. And Evangelical Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing, St. Louis, MO. She was employed as an RN at Evangelical Deaconess Hospital, St. Louis, MO, Elkhart General Hospital, Elkhart, IN, the Medical Department, Miles Laboratories Inc., Elkhart, IN, Doncaster Fashion Consultant 30 years to 2015 and District Manager Doncaster 1989 to 1993.
Ruth married G. Beach Gattman, MD in St. Louis, MO on October 30, 1954. She was the fifth of six children and is survived by her brother Allen Paul Bloedel. Mother of Steven Allen, David Edward (Bunny) Orlando, FL, Gregory Beach (Karyn) Columbia, SC, James Donald (Anne) Maplewood, MN, and Glenn Patrick (Sandy) Shipshewana, IN. They have been blessed with 10 grandchildren: Elizabeth Anne (Sean) Gattman Nowling; Daniel Ryan Gattman; Aiszlynne Grace Gattman; Steven Allen (Makenzie) Gattman; Alexander Richard Gattman; Timothy Beach Gattman; Daniel Beach Gattman; Peter McNeill Gattman, Luke Patrick Gattman; and Grace Catherine Ruth Gattman. Also, Alyissa and Seth Winquist and her great grandchildren James and Finn Nowling, Cory and Chason Geyer and Kellan, Alice and Anson Winquist.
Preceding her in death are her husband G. Beach Gattman MD, their son Steven Allen Gattman, her grandson Alexander Richard Gattman, her parents Rev. Hugo and Ruth Bloedel, brother Hugo David Bloedel, Donald Edwin George Bloedel and sisters Lois Wright and Marianne Papke, her mother and father-in-law Wilma and Louis Gattman and brother and sister-in-law Louis and Wanda Gattman.
Ruth came to Elkhart as a new bride in 1954. She became involved in thew community first as a Y teen advisor, then as Secretary of the Board of Directors of the YMCA. She was President Coeur de Cerf Chapter of the Questers, on the Board of Directors of the Elkhart Symphony, The Board of Directors of Elkhart General Hospital, President Elkhart County Medical Auxiliary, Co-founder CAPS-Board of Directors and Presenter Governors First State Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect. Co-President with her husband of West Side Junior High School PTA, Member first Superintendent’s Advisory Council, Elkhart Community Schools, President Indiana State Medical Auxiliary, AMA Auxiliary Legislation Committee, State Chairman Governor’s Committee on Immunization, Indiana State Chairman Indiana Voluntary Effort and Co-Founder Elkhart Community Hospice, Board Member and President. She was also a member of the Riverside Club. Ruth was on the Board of Directors of the Indiana Medicine Political Action Committee – the first woman to serve in this capacity, the Bowen for Governor Vice Chairman and was co-chairman “A Tribute to The Bowen Years” a statewide thank you to our Governor and his wife for outstanding leadership to our state.
She was a community activist, always looking for ways to make our community better-first for the children and then for everyone. Her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were the joy of her life. She enjoyed knowing them, attending their events and just being with them. A member of Trinity Lutheran Church and later of Hilltop Lutheran Church, South Bend, IN she served as Hilltop’s President and in many other leadership capacities. While in Florida she and her husband were members of Hope Lutheran Church in Bonita Springs, FL. She and Beach enjoyed traveling in many places in this country and abroad. In retirement they lived in Florida for many years for six months of the year including Marco Island, Naples, and Bonita Springs. She received many awards including the Sagamore of the Wabash, Indiana’s higher honor in 1975. Other awards included Humanitarian-Community Service YWCA Honors III, Indiana Medicine Political Action Committee award, The Hilltop Rock – Hilltop’s highest honor, and the Legacy Award from the Tanner Corp. (Doncaster) for community service on a continuing basis. She was honored by CAPS in 2016 and given the Friend of the Child Award for bring the founder of CAPS.
She will be greatly missed by her family and the many people whose lives she touched.
At her wishes she will be cremated. Hartzler Gutermuth Inman will be entrusted with her care. A gathering of family and friends for Ruth will be held at a later date.
Instead of flowers, Memorials in her name may be given to Hilltop Lutheran Church or to CAPS.
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