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Obituary: Ruth Smith Ruedebusch
West Orange Times & Observer Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016 4 years ago

Obituary: Ruth Smith Ruedebusch

Ruth Smith Ruedebusch died Aug. 7, 2016.
by: Amy Quesinberry Community Editor

Ruth Smith Ruedebusch, 93, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016, in Ruskin, Florida. She was born on Nov. 10, 1922, to Walter and Jennie Smith in Dadeville, Alabama. She was the youngest of four siblings and is predeceased by her brothers, Walter Douglas Smith Jr. (“Cotton”) and Max Fowler Smith, and sister, Virginia Smith Reddick.

Mrs. Ruedebusch moved to Lakeland as a young child and graduated from Lakeland High School and Lakeland Business College. She then worked for the Veterans Administration in Miami and in Washington, D.C.

In 1947, she married Donald E. Williams and they moved to southern California where they built their own home, and she learned to fly airplanes. The marriage ended in divorce in 1968, and Mrs. Ruedebusch and her two daughters returned to Lakeland.

In 1971, she married John W. Ruedebusch. They relocated to Winter Garden, Florida, where she worked as the church secretary for the First United Methodist Church for 12 years. In 1983, Ruth and John Ruedebusch returned to Lakeland, where she worked for the Bishop’s Office of the United Methodist Church. After Mr. Ruedebusch passed away in 1987, Mrs. Ruedebusch divided her time between Lakeland and the Washington, D.C., area, near her daughters and grandsons.

She was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church and a member of the Blue Danube Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, which she joined in 2010, when briefly living in Vienna, Austria, with her daughter, Donna, and son-in-law, William C. Eacho, then the U.S. Ambassador to Austria.

Mrs. Ruedebusch is survived by her daughters, Donna Williams Eacho of Chevy Chase, Maryland, and Ann Brantley Williams, of Tampa, Florida; and by three grandsons, Douglas Carlton Eacho, Gregory William Eacho and David Walker Eacho.  

Visitation will be 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14, at Heath Funeral Chapel, Lakeland. Service will be held 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 15, at First United Methodist Chapel, 72 Lake Morton Drive, Lakeland. Interment will follow at Roselawn Cemetery.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

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