Sunday, January 22, 2023
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Rosary at 7:30PM
Mass of Chrisitian Burial
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
As her family and friends can surely attest, Ruth Kasul truly understood the secret to a life well lived. She was a constant source of strength, even in the most difficult of times, and she always had an encouraging word to say. Nothing brought Ruth greater joy than spending time with her loved ones no matter how those moments were spent. She was a shining example of hard work, and her faith formed the unshakeable foundation of her life. Dearly loved, Ruth will be forever missed.
The 1950s were an exciting time in America. James Dean and Marilyn Monroe were big names on the sliver screen while Elvis Presley took the music world by storm with his rock ’n roll music. There were huge milestones, too, as it was this decade was ending that we welcomed Alaska and Hawaii as our 49th and 50th states. It was as this decade was just beginning that Paul and Eleanor (Kucharczyk) Petkus were filled with great anticipation as they learned they would be parents for the very first time. Their wait was finally over when the baby girl they named Ruth Ann drew her first breath on March 25, 1951, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Growing up, Ruth was a typical young girl of her generation in many ways. She was raised in the family home as the oldest child, later joined by her siblings Mary, Peter, and Robert. Ruth’s father supported his family by working as a truck driver and a part-time farmer, and her mother worked at American Seating. The Petkus family owned a small farm, where they grew wheat and corn. Throughout Ruth’s childhood, she and her siblings enjoyed playing in the hay in the barn together. She attended Star 5 School until the fourth grade, then went to Marne Elementary. Ruth also attended Kenowa Hills High School through the 11th grade before moving to Creston High School. She had a creative mind and enjoyed painting and art. In 1969, Ruth graduated from Creston, ready to move on to bigger and better things.
Following her high school graduation, Ruth decided to work full time while balancing the pursuit of her education. She earned her associate’s degree at GRJC and then went on to graduate from Grand Valley State University with her bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well. Throughout her time in the education system, Ruth worked very hard and always got good grades.
In order to support herself, Ruth was employed at various different companies. She worked in computers for both Meijer and American Seating. Ruth also worked for Stow Davis and later with IBM as an industrial manufacturing engineer. While employed by IBM, she was able to travel the world doing consulting work, including to locations such as Singapore, Canada, and Europe. In later years, Ruth continued to have consulting gigs every so often.
New and exciting changes were on the horizon for Ruth as she met the man who would quickly become the love of her life. His name was Chester Kasul, and the two first met while she was working at American Seating. Over time, their relationship blossomed into something truly special. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Ruth and Chester were married on August 7, 1969, in Grand Rapids. The newlyweds then enjoyed a honeymoon to Niagara Falls.
All who knew Ruth can surely agree that, of all the things she loved in life, she treasured her family above all else. She had a daughter, Kelley, from a previous marriage, who Chester adopted as his own. Chester had seven children as well, but as they were grown it was just Chester, Kelley, and Ruth living in their home together. Later in life, Ruth was overjoyed to become a grandmother and even a great-grandmother. She was also a beloved aunt to several nieces and nephews. Ruth was a dear friend to many, especially to Greg Hartford. She always considered herself blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones.
As a serving member of her community, Ruth poured her heart and soul into all those around her. She volunteered her time and efforts as a meditator with the Dispute Resolution Center for over 10 years. Ruth found her volunteer work to be very fulfilling and rewarding, and she had a true passion for helping others. She was active at St. Mary of Marne Catholic Church, where she served as a Eucharistic minister and a minister of hospitality. Her heart of service allowed her to touch the lives of countless others.
Never one to sit still for long, Ruth pursued many hobbies to stay busy in her free time. She loved camping with her family, especially in St. Ignace and Pearl Lake. Ruth was an avid traveler. Over the years, she visited Italy, Mackinac Island, and in the summer of 2021 she went to Boyne Mountain Resort. Anywhere could be home to Ruth as long as she was with the ones she loved. She enjoyed quilting and trying new foods as long as there was no liver and onions involved. Ruth loved shopping, and she made weekend trips to Birch Run, always competing to see how much of a bargain she could get. She also enjoyed shopping at Woodland Mall. Ruth was a classy dresser and made sure she looked nice for Mass every Saturday night. She liked listening to music from the 1960s and 1970s, as well as Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks. Later in life, Ruth enjoyed using her bread maker. She loved playing card games with her family, such as Pinochle or Canasta, and she also liked eating caramel corn, black licorice, Rice Krispie treats, and Red Hots. Ruth’s favorite restaurant was the Heritage Restaurant, located at Grand Rapids Community College. She enjoyed challenging herself with Sudoku puzzles, and she also liked reading mystery or thriller books. Ruth loved decorating for and hosting Christmas Eve. She and her sister, Mary, exchanged Christmas ornaments every year.
When reflecting on the life of Ruth Kasul, it is easy to see both her unwavering strength and her unconditional love for her family. She was well known for her sense of creativity, and she loved expressing her personal style in this way. A loving wife and mother, Ruth was proud to watch her family tree grow to include so many members who filled her heart with joy. She faced each and every challenge with determination, and she was always willing to go above and beyond to serve others. Though she will be deeply missed, Ruth leaves behind a priceless legacy for her loved ones to carry on in her footsteps.
KASUL – Ruth Ann (Petkus) Kasul age 71, of Grand Rapids, went to be with her Lord and Savior on January 17, 2023. She was preceded in death by her husband of 22 years, Chester; mother, Eleanor Petkus; nephew, Larry “JR” Weis and niece, Nicole Weis. Ruth is survived by her children, Kelley Kasul, Richard (Paula) Kasul, Lori (Carl) Crittendon, Gerard Kasul, Raymond (Jenny) Kasul, Andrew (Tracey) Kasul, David (Ratree) Kasul and James (Jill) Kasul; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and very special friend, Greg Hartford. Also surviving are her siblings, Mary (Joseph) Junglas, Peter (Sandi) Petkus and Robert Petkus; and many nieces and nephews. Ruth was an avid quilter who loved to camp and spent years working and traveling the world for IBM as an industrial manufacturing engineer. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 AM on Monday, January 23, 2023 at St. Mary’s of Marne Catholic Church, 15164 Juniper Dr., Marne. The family will gather to visit from 2-4 and 6-8 PM, with a Rosary at 7:30 PM, on Sunday January 22 at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Alt and Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Contributions in her memory may be made to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Interment in Rosedale Memorial Park. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to read her life story, submit a favorite memory, photo or to sign the guestbook.