Barbara Margaret Ruppel MSW, LISW
Barbara Margaret Ruppel, MSW, LISW, 77, died on Nov. 11, 2020, of heart-related complications. She was born in Elgin, Ill., on July 3, 1943.
Surviving Barb are her sisters, Carla Wiedemann, Debbie (Bob) Reed and Sara (Ted) Larkin; her sister-in-law, Lesley Weirich; brother-in-law, Paul (Ann) Ruppel; and many cousins, nieces and nephews, as well as grandnieces and -nephews. She also is survived by her treasured cat Aurora.
Barb was preceded in death by her beloved Howard, her husband of 49 years; as well as her parents, Margaret and Joseph Wiedemann.
Barb had many friends and enjoyed hosting them over the years at her warm and welcoming home in Mount Vernon. Barb was a world traveler, starting at age 19 with a long trip through the Middle East, Europe and North Africa. In later years, she traveled with Howie to places such as Hawaii, Paris and the Great Wall of China. She and Howie also loved seeing the latest musicals, and for many summers they attended the Bix Jazz Festival in Davenport.
Barb touched the lives of many during her career in social work, earning her master's as she worked. Barb was a family therapist and then executive director of Families, Inc. from 1976 to 2001. She then worked in private practice and for other agencies as she accompanied Howie during his work in San Francisco and she returned to Iowa in 2004. Barb was still doing the work she loved as a therapist at the Abbe Center for Community Mental Health at the time of her death.
Barb enjoyed caring for the many cats who graced her life over the years. She was an avid reader of mysteries and loved to swim. She will be buried with Howie in Wheaton, Ill., alongside other departed relatives. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
Donations in Barb's honor may be made to the Huntington's Disease Society of America in honor of her relatives who are still battling this disease and those she has lost to it or to a charity of your choice. Barb's family requests no flowers.
Arrangements are with Stewart Baxter Funeral & Memorial Services, Mount Vernon. Please share your love and support with Barb's family on her tribute wall at www.stewartbaxter.com under obituaries.