Ruth Cunningham

May 11, 1926 - December 5, 2017

Ruth Cunningham, 91, of Winterset, died Tuesday, December 5, 2017, at the HCI Kavanagh House in Des Moines.

A visitation will be held from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m., Monday, December 11, at Ochiltree Funeral Service where the family will be present to receive friends from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., with a prayer service immediately following at 7:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, December 12, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Winterset with burial to follow in the Winterset Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the St. Joseph Catholic Church, Madison County Hospital Foundation and/or HCI Kavanagh House.

Ruth Margaret Eike, daughter of H. B. and Anna (Schmitz) Eike, was born May 11, 1926, in Halbur, in Carroll County, Iowa. As a teenager, she was a representative for the sale of war bonds during World War II.  Ruth graduated in 1943 from Sacred Heart Catholic School in Pocahontas and later went on to graduate from the Mercy School of Nursing in Des Moines. She was an Army Nurse Cadet preparing to serve until the war ended prior to her schooling. Ruth was united in marriage to John Breen on April 9, 1947 and to this union seven children were born. She later married Peter Cunningham on February 19, 1972 in Des Moines, he preceded her in death on April 23, 1993.

Ruth worked as a nurse for several years and was proud to be the first Administrator and Director of Care at Madison Manor North (later, Winterset Care Center North). Following her marriage to Peter, she retired from nursing and was a homemaker.

Ruth was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church; participating in Altar and Rosary activities as well as being a Eucharistic Minister. She was also active in the Madison County Hospital Auxiliary; Legion Auxiliary, Colonial Guild and Progressive Study Club. Ruth also loved to play cards and was a member of several bridge clubs as well as being an excellent Scrabble player. Ruth loved her flower gardens and enjoyed sewing and other handy work. All this said, she was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother who cherished time with her family.

Ruth is survived by six children, Margaret McQueen of Omaha, NE, Michael (Pat) Breen of Denison, Patricia Opstein of Sioux City, James (Rosa) Breen of Houston, TX, Mary Seaborn of Victoria, British Columbia, Nancy (Kim) Kluever of Devils Lake, ND; a sister, Joan (John) Frogley of Willis, TX; two step children, P. J. (Shirley) Cunningham of Winterset, Michael (Jean) Cunningham of Minneapolis, MN, step son-in-law, Bob Gunter of Hot Springs, AR; nine grandchildren, William McQueen, Molly Cutchall, Meg Davis, Kate Hagdorn, Molly Breen, Trish DeCook, Max Opstein, Evan Breen, Mike Kluever; ten step-grandchildren, Michael Gunter, Lori Jordt, Susan Deaton, David Cunningham, Steven Cunningham, Gregory Cunningham, Katie Cunningham, Peter Cunningham, Steven Cunningham, William Cunningham; ten great grandchildren; 14 step-great grandchildren; extended family and a host of friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Peter Cunningham; a son and daughter-in-law, Daniel (Barbara) Breen; step-daughter, Anne Gunter; two brothers, Lloyd and John Eike; a sister, Jean DeVolder; son-in-law, Kenneth Opstein; two grandchildren, Kennedy Mussack, Erin Breen and a step-grandson, Edward Cunningham.