Ruth Elaine Rifenberg, of Niles
March 13, 1916 — March 30, 2016
Ruth Elaine Rifenberg, age 100 years, of Niles, Michigan died at 11:10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 30, 2016, at the Clark Retirement Community in Grand Rapids, Michigan following a brief illness.
She was born on March 13, 1916, in Lowell, Michigan to Ellis and Mary (Courter) Rollins. She was graduated from Lowell High School, and graduated from nursing college in Grand Rapids earning her R.N. in 1938. She has lived in Niles since 1939 and served for several years as the school nurse for Niles schools.
Ruth was a member of Wesley United Methodist Church in Niles and the Niles Garden Club. She and her husband enjoyed traveling in their motorhome, taking it throughout the United States, and all the way from Florida to Alaska. Ruth’s greatest interest was her family, from being a neighborhood mom when the kids were young, to choosing retirement locales based on the proximity to the grandchildren.
On Oct. 2, 1939 in Jones, Michigan she married E. H. “Bud” Rifenberg with whom she celebrated the remarkable Seventy-fifth anniversary of their marriage prior to his death on Dec. 7, 2014. She was also preceded in death by a brother, Gerald Rollins, and sisters, Laurie Page, and Evelyn Court.
Surviving family includes twin daughters, Mary (& Doug) Herman of Wilmore, Kentucky and Martha Baez of Fort Myers, Florida and a son, Paul (& Diane) Rifenberg of Watervliet, Michigan; grandchildren Tosca Rifenberg, Danica (& Brian) Shier, and twins Mariah and Meghan Rifenberg; great-grandchildren Nisa, Amaya, Kaya, and Breckin; and Ruth’s brother, Roger Rollins and sister, Theresa Posthumus, both of Grand Rapids, and many nieces and nephews.
The family of Ruth Rifenberg will gather privately in Grand Rapids to honor her life and share some memories. They will also gather at the graveside in Niles for committal services with the Rev. Cathi Huvaere of Wesley United Methodist Church. Contributions in memory of Ruth may be made to the Niles Salvation Army, or to the Niles-Buchanan Rotary Club Scholarship Fund. Arrangements were made at the Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles.