Grace Lois Ruege Schneider, 69, born in West Allis, WI, on September 22, 1943, died very peacefully, holding her husband Alfred’s hand, at their rural Phillips, WI, home on October 4, 2012, after bravely and without complaint enduring 20 diagnosed years of Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. She met her husband, originally of Ladysmith, in early February of 1964, at UW-Madison during her junior year and his senior year. They were married on October 2 of 1965 and she joined him in Baraboo, where their first child, Catherine, was born. Next they moved to Marshfield where their second child, Jack, was born. In 1969 they moved to Phillips where their youngest child, Jeff, was born. She was the first physical therapist to live in Price County, and was soon asked by Carol Dahlie, the Price County Nurse, to provide home care physical therapy. Ashland and Sawyer County also hired Grace, and she served in the Park Falls hospital PT department.
Grace was a member of The Northwoods Players community theatre. She volunteered as an adult leader for the Restless Rascals 4-H club, and as Little League scorekeeper for the infamous W&W Sales Yankees. Born in the shadow of County Stadium, she could, after all these years, still recite the Braves lineup for their 1957 World Series win over the Yankees, and enjoyed listening to or watching the Brewers.
“Multiple Sclerosis” is Latin for “Many Scars”. It is an auto-immune disease in which the body’s defensive cells get faulty target info and attack the myelin sheathing of nerves in your brain, leaving exposed nerves, and scars which appear as white spots on an MRI scan. Imagine a computer full of electrical wires, each with worn and cracked insulation, sparking against one another, sending out incorrect signals or short circuiting, and you get the idea.
Grace was preceded in death by her parents, Henry Ruege and Eunice Marx Ruege, and is survived by her husband, children Catherine Moore, Jack Schneider, and Jeff Schneider, nine grandchildren, and two sisters, Ruth Ruege and Jane Ruege.
A memorial service will be officiated by Pastor John Trewyn at Trinity Lutheran Church in Phillips on Thursday, October 11 at 11:00 AM. It will be preceded by a visitation hour at the church beginning at 10:00 AM, and followed by a meal for all in the church dining hall.
For any who seek advice of gift preferences, Grace would say flowers are wonderful. Designated money gifts in her name to any charity of choice would please her. Undesignated money gifts will be given to the Phillips Community Pool, where Grace exercised for many years.
Grace was graduated by Wisconsin Lutheran High School in Milwaukee, and at Phillips was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church, serving as the children’s Sunday School superintendent.
Grace knew that when she would die her soul would go to Heaven - that she was but a stranger here and Heaven was her home. When you believe your soul goes somewhere when you die, it only stands to reason that your soul comes from somewhere - your home - when you are born. We believe that Grace is “home again” in Heaven, renewing old acquaintances.