Ruth Lillian Slater (Buechler), age 86 of Whitefish, MT, passed away peacefully on the morning of November 3, 2015 at The Springs at Whitefish in Whitefish, MT . Ruth was being visited and comforted by family members.
Ruth was born December 6, 1928 in Mildred Montana. She was the ninth and youngest child of Matilda and Fred J. Buechler.
Ruth grew up on the family farm about 17 miles outside of Fallon, MT, where German was exclusively spoken at home. She rode her horse 5 miles to a one-room schoolhouse. Later Ruth attended high school in Terry, MT where she was a member of the band and a cheerleader. After high school, Ruth went on to become a Registered Nurse, graduating at the top of her class. She began work at the Holy Rosary Hospital in Miles City. On a night out with friends to a local dance club, Leon Park, she met Kermit Slater who not only was a good dancer but had a new car. They fell in love and danced together throughout their married life.
After starting a family, Ruth worked part-time at the Garberson Clinic. When she retired from the Clinic, she worked at the Veterans Hospital, Miles City for another ten years. She was known to say, “now I’ve worked long enough to earn two damn gold watches” – the customary retirement award!
Ruth was active in the 1st United Methodist Church and raised her children to know the church as an extended family. She sang in the church choir and thus introduced her family to music. Ruth had many church activities that she loved including working with the MYF youth group, teaching Sunday school – especially for the 3-4 year olds, organizing the fair food booth, Hobo Stew, and was very active in the United Methodist Women.
Ruth traveled extensively in the US and abroad – it seemed that she had friends wherever she went. Her PEO chapter was also an important part of her social life along with her dedication to playing golf.
Ruth was preceded in death by: her husband, Kermit Slater; brothers and sisters Bert, Naome, Lindy, Eva, Reuben, Otto, and Ray.
Ruth is survived by sister Regina (Jean) Byrd, Seattle, WA who celebrated her 100th birthday last March. Children: Rod Slater, Auckland, New Zealand, Judy Goodrich, Liberty Lake, WA, Allen & wife, Becky Slater, Kalispell, MT, and Jerry & wife, Shawn Slater, Huson, MT. Grandchildren: Tristin Slater, Abby (Goodrich) Rzegocki, Ben Slater, Megan Slater, Bree Nelson, Kale Kramer. Great Grandchildren: Vivian and James Rzegocki, Gabriel and Bethany Slater, Brody and Kole Nelson. It is significant to note that she loved and raised as family, for at least part of their lives, nephew and niece Don Slater, McMinnville, OR and Kim (Slater) Keller, Grove, OK
Special thanks to The Springs at Whitefish and Frontier Hospice for their uncommon kindness and care.
Funeral services will be held at the Miles City United Methodist Church at 1:00 PM on Thursday, November 19, 2015. A gathering will immediately follow services at the church. Burial will follow in the Custer County Cemetery. Send condolences or personal comments about Ruth to stevensonandsons.com.
The family suggests that any memorials be given to UMYF youth program at the First United Methodist Church in Miles City.