Obituary: Ruth D. Potier

January 30, 1922 ~ February 23, 2023

Beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Ruth Potier died on Thursday, February 23, 2023, ready to leave this earth and experience the joys of Heaven.  Ruth was born to George and Kathryn (Schlise) Schmelzer on January 30, 1922, in Casco, WI, but spent most of her life in Door County. 

Ruth was the first woman to join the Navy WAVES from Door County, but was very humble about her service during WWII, deferring instead to the service of her brothers and future husband.  While home on leave in January of 1945, she married Leonard Potier.  After her honorable discharge, she and Leonard raised a family of 6 children while living on the family farm in Nasewaupee. 

Later in life, Ruth worked as an aide in the OB department at Door County Memorial Hospital where she enjoyed caring for the newborns.  Ruth’s favorite pastimes included playing Bridge with her friends and baking chocolate chip cookies for the family.  Eventually, Leonard and Ruth moved to Sturgeon Bay where they enjoyed a home on Geneva Street.  Ruth lived there until she was 99, then moved to the Horton Skilled Nursing Facility where she celebrated her 100th and 101st birthdays with her children.

Survivors include 6 children, Peter (Luann) Potier, Nashville, TN; Mary (Duane) Lardinois, Sturgeon Bay; John (Nancy) Potier, Sturgeon Bay; Penny (Jerry) Jacobson, Sturgeon Bay; Linda (John) I’Anson, Orlando, FL; Joseph (Cindy) Potier, Sturgeon Bay; 13 grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law, Arlene Schmelzer.  She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; 3 grandchildren, Tony, Max and Tracie Potier; 1 sister, Marion (Bernard) Lienau; 5 brothers, Delbert (Thelma) Schmelzer, Wilmer “Daw” Schmelzer, Tony Schmelzer, William (Gloria) Schmelzer, and Joseph Schmelzer; 6 in-laws, Vergil Bosman, Myrtle Albert, Beatrice Larson, Jeanne Egan, Lillian Schmelzer, and Judy Schmelzer.

Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m. Thursday, March 2, 2023, at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Sturgeon Bay with Rev. Anthony Birdsall officiating.  Entombment will be in St. Joseph’s Cemetery Mausoleum.  Visitation will be from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., Wednesday at the Forbes Funeral Home and from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services at the church on Thursday.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to St. John Bosco School and Corpus Christi Catholic Church.

Special thanks to Dr. Hogan and the caring staff at the Horton SNF for their wonderful care and support.