Ruth Elizabeth Baer, 98, passed away March 5, 2020

Ruth Elizabeth Baer, 98, of St. Joseph, passed away on Thursday, March 5, 2020, at her home. A Celebration of Life Service will take place on Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 10:30 AM at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, 121 Kline St., Benton Harbor, with Pastor Jeff Bolwerk officiating. Burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery. Friends may visit with the family an hour prior to the service at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, The D.A.N.K., or Michigan Lutheran High School. Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at

Ruth was born on July 14, 1921, in Berrien Springs, to Otto & Emma (Froemling) Dettmann. She attended Millburg School until eighth grade when she began working and living with local families as a nanny to their children. After a few years as a nanny, Ruth began working at Modern Plastics. She worked here until the business closed then began her employment at Whirlpool Corporation until her retirement. She married the love of her life, Paul Baer, on June 6, 1970, at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Benton Harbor. The two were happily married for almost 17 years before his passing in 1987. Ruth was a proud member of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church where she had been confirmed in 1949 and the D.A.N.K., in Benton Harbor where she was a member of the ladies’ group for 40 years. Ruth also was a faithful supporter of Michigan Lutheran High School. During her younger years, Ruth enjoyed traveling and dancing to Polka Music; she would often travel around following her favorite Polka bands. Ruth was a wonderful lady, who always knew how to brighten up anyone’s day. Always known for her beautiful flower garden and spirit, Ruth will truly be missed by all who knew her.

Ruth is survived by her nieces and nephews, Donna, Ron, Darlene, Donald, Bob, Barbara, Denise, Darrell, William, Yalonda, Tim, Richard, Belinda, and Steven.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, Otto & Emma; husband, Paul; brothers, Leroy Donald, Otto, George, and Richard Dettmann; sisters, Selma Abel and Irene Kovalik; and nieces, Dottie, Diane and Rhonda.

The family of Ruth Baer would like to extend a loving thank you to the staff at The Whitcomb; Ruth loved the socializing, the fun activities and everyone who made those possible. Another big thank you to Angie for always making sure Ruth’s hair and nails were looking beautiful. 

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