Ruth Emily Muehlmeier (nee Ewart), born October 13, 1925, passed away peacefully on June 13, 2019. Ruth now joins her husband of 67 years, Peyton A Muehlmeier, who preceded her in death on January 12, 2019.
Ruth Emily Ewart was also preceded in death by her parents Mabel and John Gladstone Ewart, brother, Clyde Ewart, and sister, Jean Ewart Davis, both of California. She was looking forward to reuniting with all of them, and the many friends who she had survived.
Ruth and Peyton had four children; Christine Style, Pamela (Stephen Doucette), Peyton Scot (Jill) and youngest son Daniel Muehlmeier. Grandchildren include Sarah Davitt and Victoria Maher (Jack), twins Christopher Doucette (Jackie) and Cody Doucette (Katie), and Cassidy (Michael Campanella), Courteney Muehlmeier (Elizabeth), Lyndsey Glasener (Jeffery) and Christina Weir (Joseph Weir); and Cory Muehlmeier. She is also survived by 5 great grandchildren; Lauren and Savannah Muehlmeier, William and Seanna Glasener, and Rose Weir.
Ruth was an artist, a maverick, a gardener, art historian, teacher, swimmer, traveler, a mom, wife, and grandmother, and one of the strongest, most spirited people you would ever have met. She loved golf and tennis, as well as “field games” organized for parties or reunions.
Ruth grew up loving art and drawing. Ruth attended Wisconsin State Teachers College (now UWM) and Oxbow Summer School of Art in Saugatuck MI, and she graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1948. Ruth, at 22, studied Mayan and primitive art in Mexico and Yucatan. She spent one-year as a free-lancing textile designer in New York City and attended classes in colored woodcut at the New School for Social Research under Louis Schanker. In Milwaukee, she taught children’s summer art classes at the Milwaukee Art Institute (now MAM), and art history, drawing and painting at Cardinal Stritch College. She became an accomplished fine artist and art historian, working and showing her work in New York and painting murals in the Wauwatosa area. She was prolific with clay, paints and fabric as well as pencil and pen. Her compositions ranged from realism to abstract representation.
Ruth married building contractor, Peyton A. Muehlmeier, January 23, 1951 and the four children, Chris, Pam, Scot, and Dan, arrived between 1952 and 1956. The household was fondly called, ‘The House of Six Directions.’
Ruth Ewart Muehlmeier taught art history at Layton School of Art, now known as Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD), and Marquette University from the late 50s - early 70s. She also found time to develop bodies of work to show and sell annually at the Lakefront Art Fair and around southern Wisconsin. She was actively involved in Wisconsin Painters & Sculpture (now Wisconsin Visual Artists – WVA), a juried artist organization, in the 60s-90s and its president and archivist for over 14 years. Daughter, Christine has continued the connection with WVA and made a webpage with some of Ruth E. Muehlmeier’s artworks (http://www.christinestyle.com/Ruth-E--Muehlmeier.html ). REM is how she signed most of her artwork.
Ruth loved her sewing circle of women at The Brookfield Congregational Church and worked on many bible story banners for the church. She was a spiritual woman who expressed her love of God often through her art. She also designed stained glass window inserts of biblical animals which are still in use at the church today. Ruth was a neighborhood Mom, leading handmade puppet shows, sewing lessons, swim lessons, and mini art projects for the neighborhood kids.
Ruth assisted Peyton with art and design related projects involving his business, the Midway Motor Lodges (Hotels). She painted representations of historical Wauwatosa homes on wallpaper in meeting rooms at the lodges, made prints of her drawings for each of the hotel rooms, painted quilts and shields, and designed and furnished restaurants in Green Bay and Brookfield. She was truly inexhaustible at times and our Supermom. She always made time for us and family. Growing up, our vacations were mostly in our backyard pool on Onondaga Circle in Brookfield. Ruth orchestrated drives and flights west to visit our California cousins who she adored as they were her brother and sister’s children. When a winter condo in Florida was bought, the family would spend holidays in the back of a station wagon driving to Jupiter Island. At one point the whole family packed up and went to live in Yucatan for a few months where she led us on tours to all her favorite ruins.
Ruth and Peyton moved from their Brookfield home of 16 years to ‘Wildwood’ on Upper Nemahbin Lake in 1971, where they lived for over 40 years. Ruth maintained a large studio in the Wildwood basement, where she did large acrylic and watercolor still life paintings, and ceramics. It was her “happy place” and she would often spend many hours working. She filled Wildwood with her antique toy collection, art of her friends and family, smells of cooking biscotti, large rounds of decorated Scottish shortbread, music and laughter. She faithfully watered her gardens and organized tennis games with her pals in the lake country. We are sure she has re-connected with some of her activities in heaven!
A celebration of Ruth’s life will be held on July 20th, visitation from 10:00 am until the 11:30 am Memorial Service at Brookfield Congregational Church 16350 Gebhardt Rd, Brookfield, WI 53005.
In lieu of flowers to the church, we invite donations in memory of Ruth Muehlmeier to Wisconsin Visual Artists (WVA) sent to WVA Executive Director, Terry Stanley, 2033 Hazen Road, Green Bay, WI 54311.