Ruth Ann (Toby) Keppel
Ruth Ann (Toby) Keppel passed away on April 19, 2021. She was born on April 9, 1923, in Madison, Wis., to Simon and Charlotte Rolsted. Ruth (Toby) grew up in Barron, Wis. She married the love of her life, John Keppel, on June 8, 1947. They settled in Waukesha, Wis., where they raised their three children. Summers were spent at their cottage on Lake Nokomis near Tomahawk. Toby and John also lived in Louden, Tenn., and on Marco Island, Fla., after they retired.
Toby graduated with a Phy. Ed. degree from La Crosse in 1945. In 1947, she became an Associate Professor-Physical Education Department at Colorado State in Fort Collins while John was finishing his Biology degree after WWII. She also taught Phy. Ed. at Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha and Pewaukee Middle School. Toby was instrumental in starting a screening process for scoliosis at the middle school. She was also involved in the YWCA and the parks and recreation in Waukesha.
Toby was very energetic, social, and had multiple interests. Early retirement led her to schools in Boston, Mass., and in Baraboo, Wis., where she attended clown camps and became a professional clown. She loved to clown at children’s parties, nursing homes, and in the Tomahawk parades, and did face painting at the town square on Marco Island. She also enjoyed learning and playing the organ, was an avid reader, and liked to play all sorts of games. She and John spent a couple of months each year in Manzanillo, Mexico, and traveled to several European countries. Most of all, Toby treasured times with her children, grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Toby was preceded in death by her parents, husband John, infant daughter, and grandson Larry Wahlen. She is survived by her three children: Michael (Jean) Keppel, David (Nan Shepard) Keppel, and Nancy Keppel. Survivors also include her grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Brooke Whalen, Kristina Keppel (Nathan Collins), their children Owen, Madeline, and Liam; Jon (Maria) Keppel and their children Hanna and Julian. She is also survived by her sisters Pauline Loos and Shirley Rabehl and nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Oak Park Place in Burlington, Wis., for all of the love, special care, and attention they gave her.
No matter where she lived or what she was involved in, Ruth (Toby) made life-long- friends. She will be missed by many people.