Alice L. Ruchie (nee Ewald)
My mom Alice was born in St. Paul Minnesota on April 26, 1927. She was born on Lawson Street near Payne Ave to Frank and Helen (nee Kreitz) Ewald. Frank was a St. Paul Policeman and Helen was a homemaker and a gifted seamstress who earned money by sewing at a factory. Alice was the youngest of 4 girls. Franny was the oldest, then Trudy and Florence. When Alice was 4 years old in 1931 her dad, my Grandpa Frank, died unexpectedly. That left Grandma Ewald all alone with 4 girls to raise on a police pension and what she earned sewing. Grandma raised 4 loving and family oriented women. Grandma was a remarkable woman who raised 4 remarkable women all who lived long challenging lives.
Alice grew up on the east side of St. Paul in the Payne Ave area. She attended St. Patrick’s Catholic Church with her mother and sisters. She went to Cleveland Junior High and Johnson High School located at 740 York Ave at that time. (Johnson High School moved to its present location at 1349 Arcade Ave in 1963.) Alice learned many domestic skills while growing up; sewing, cooking, cleaning etc and she remained a dedicated housekeeper her entire life.
Alice first met her eventual husband William (Bill) L. Ruchie, also of St. Paul, when they were still teenagers at the annual Payne Ave Harvest Festival. They didn’t date at that time, but spent a little time together, parted ways but remembered each other. They met again in their early 20’s and began dating. They married each other on March 11, 1950 when they were both 23 years old. When first married they lived with Bill’s parents Henry and Genevieve Ruchie. Alice learned how to cook Italian food from scratch from her mother-in-law Genevieve. She was a great student and became very good cook.
Alice loved her sisters very much and when they started having children she loved helping them with their babies when she could. She also loved and helped care for the children born to her husband’s 2 brothers and sister. She really loved all her nephews and nieces from both the Ewald and Ruchie sides. She was godmother to a few of them and loved them all her whole life.
She loved all babies and children and wanted to have her own child very badly. However she had trouble conceiving. Her and Bill finally were able to conceive a child while on vacation in California in 1958. Their son William Anthony Ruchie was born on February 28, 1959. Young Billy was named after his dad and got his middle name from his great-grandfather Antonio Ruchie. Bill, Alice and their son Billy lived on Marian Street near Rice Street and Maryland Ave in St. Paul when Billy was born. In 1964 Bill and Alice bought their first home on Jessamine Street one block away from Beaver Lake.
Alice was known by her family and friends as a phenomenal cook who excelled at cooking Italian food and for baking great deserts. Her homemade spaghetti sauce and ravioli’s were legendary and could make amazing lemon bars and 7 step bars among lots of other food.
Alice was devoted to raising her son and being a homemaker. She liked to crochet afghans, hats, scarfs and booties and made them for her relatives and friends and later for her grandchildren and Billy’s in laws after he married. Alice stayed close to her sisters and loved them all her life. Alice and her sisters loved spending time together chatting about life, playing card games and teasing each other. Their mother Helen Ewald lived a long time and died 3 days before her 102nd birthday. All of the sisters outlived their husbands. All of the sisters faced very challenging things throughout their lives and faced them strong in their Catholic faith and with the courage instilled upon them by their mother.
Alice loved playing card games especially favoring 500, Gin Rummy, Cribbage and penny poker. She also enjoyed board games such as Life, Monopoly, and Scrabble. Later in life she learned new games that she liked, Mexican Train Dominoes and Phase 10 among them. She loved word games and crossword puzzles and enjoyed playing them her whole life.
Her husband Bill suffered his first stroke in 1973 and Alice then became his primary care giver after that. Taking care of him was hard on her and very difficult physically at times. She took care of him until 1982 when Bill had to go into a nursing home because he could no longer stand and walk on his own. Alice loved taking walks to stay in shape and often walked the 2 miles between where she lived and the nursing home her husband was in. Her husband Bill passed away in 1989 due to complications from having many strokes.
Her son Billy got married to Laurie Lee Reischel on November 30, 1979. Billy and his wife Laurie had 4 children of their own. Alice was thrilled to become a grandmother and loved her grandchildren with all her heart. She was very happy to have her first grandson Tony and thrilled when his sister Angela came along 5 years later because then she had a grandson and granddaughter. She was especially thrilled when Laurie had a set of twins in 1990, Matthew and Maria, stating that she always wanted twins of her own.
Alice was remarkable woman raised by a remarkable mother and had remarkable sisters. She fiercely loved all of her family and was especially proud and happy to be a mother and grandmother. She never said goodbye without saying “I love you”. She will be missed by all who knew her.
Ruchie Alice L. Age 92 passed away peacefully and in the hands of our Lord Jesus on 3/18/2020. Alice is preceded in death by her parents Helen and Frank Ewald; her husband William Lindy Ruchie and her sisters; Franny Norbeck and her 2 husbands Jerry Wasielewski and later Herb Norbeck, Gertrude “Trudy” Burgess, and Florence Meis and her husband Gordy. She is survived and deeply missed by her son William A Ruchie and daughter-in-law Laurie, her grandchildren Anthony “Tony” Ruchie, Angela (Joe) Scarpellino, Matthew (Sarah) Ruchie and Maria Ruchie. Her great grandchildren Madison and Carter Ruchie and by many loving nephews, nieces, friends and relatives. A Memorial Mass will take place at a later date.