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Ruth Preheim: 1916-2020

  • Ruth Preheim
    Ruth Preheim

Ruth E. Preheim, 104, of Freeman, S.D., passed away Wednesday, Sept. 9 at the Oakview Terrace in Freeman. Public visitation and viewing will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11 at Walter Funeral Home in Freeman, and will continue from 12 to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12 at the funeral home with a private family burial to follow at the Salem Mennonite Church cemetery, rural Freeman.


Ruth Preheim, 104, of Freeman, S.D., passed away Wednesday, Sept. 9, at Oakview Terrace in Freeman.

Ruth Esther Schamber was born on Jan. 30, 1916, in Mission Hill, S.D., to Richard and Caroline (Haar) Schamber. At the time of her birth the family was living on the prairie near Yankton and Mission Hill, where Richard served as a circuit pastor. Ruth was baptized in infancy. She was confirmed March 18, 1930, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Freeman. After Ruth and Eldon Preheim were married, she became a member of Salem Mennonite Church in 1942.

She received her elementary education at St. Paul Lutheran grade school and graduated from Freeman High School on May 24, 1934.

After graduation, Ruth moved to Edina, Minn., and worked in a hotel and served as an organist and pianist in a Lutheran church. She returned to Freeman and worked at the Freeman Cafe, where she met “Jones,” her future husband.

On Aug. 10, 1937, Ruth was united in marriage to Eldon “Jones” Preheim. They were blessed with four children: Esther Ruth, D’Wayne Alan, Marie Carol and Judith Anne.

Left to cherish her memory are her son, D’Wayne (Gloria) Preheim, and three daughters: Esther Junker, Marie Kaufman and Judith (Quentin) Kaufman; grandchildren and their families: Michael Kaufman, Jeffrey (Robyn) Kaufman, Vincent (Nancy) Preheim, Benjamin and Eli, Carl (Jennifer) Preheim, Ryan and Kayla, Audra Preheim, Jessica Preheim, Abigail, Grace and Maddy, Michelle (Mike) Theisen, Joscelyn and Gavin, Melissa (Peter) Louwagie, Caitlin (Andrew) Swedzinski, Zackery, Benjamin and Cassandra, Sheri (Aaron) Levisay, Anthony, Andrew, Nicholas and Amanda, Marti Kaufman, Sarah and Carley JoAnn; three sisters-in-law: Marguerite Preheim, June Schamber and Freda Schamber; and many Schamber and Preheim nieces and nephews.

Preceding her in death were her husband; sons-in-law, Duane Kaufman and Kenneth Junker; one grandchild, JoAnn Kaufman; her parents, Richard and Caroline Schamber; brothers: Arthur, Eric, Gerhard, Edwin and Herman; and sisters: Dorothea Albrecht, Melitta Smidt, Helen Schamber, Anita Davis, Bertha Steinhauer and Amanda Schamber.

Ruth is remembered for her deep abiding faith in her Heavenly Father, for her daily praying and for being known by her family as a “Prayer Warrior.” She is also remembered for her love of family, her enjoyment of sewing for her family and the many quilts she made and all of the many baked goods she always gave to her family. Ruth had a love of music and also of playing games with all family and friends. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren will always remember the fun around the kitchen table. She will be remembered with love. Ruth’s one true wish was to have everyone she loved know their Heavenly Father and live a faith-filled life.

In lieu of flowers, please make your memorials to Pastor Harold Salem of the Christian Worship Hour, Box 2002, Aberdeen, SD 57402 or the Salem Mennonite Home or Oakview Terrace in Freeman.