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Lampe, Ruth E. (1942-2015)


Posted By: Paul Nagy (email)
Date: 11/21/2015 at 14:07:39

Ruth E. Lampe
October 19, 1942 - August 8, 2015

BUFFALO – Ruth E. Lampe, beloved wife of David E. Lampe, passed away on August 8, 2015. Some called her “The Little General” or “Deputy Dog,” epithets which included an equal mix of affection and fear. So it was for Ruth Lampe in her Crescent Avenue neighborhood, a part of the Parkside Community she so dearly loved. Known to many as a community activist, Ruth was also a teacher, devoted grandmother, and mother to many.

Ruth was born on October 19, 1942, in Storm Lake, Iowa, to Victor and Esther Eickstaedt. There, she grew up as a World War II-era farm girl with her beloved brothers, Victor and Larry. Her parents and her brother, Victor, preceded her in death.

On February 1, 1963, Ruth married her college sweetheart, David Lampe. In due course, he brought Ruth east when he took a job at Buffalo State College. They, also, brought with them a son, Jeffrey David. Three years later, another son, Paul Christian, was born in Buffalo. On her first trip to Buffalo, Ruth rode past steel mills that elicited tears from an Iowa girl who knew nothing of the industrial East Coast. Later, she laughed at that first impression and delighted in the many positive changes along the Buffalo lakefront. Much about Buffalo made her proud: the Darwin Martin House, the well-tended homes in Parkside, the garden walks, the wine on Wednesday, and the Parkside home tour. She lived in the same Victorian home in the Parkside neighborhood for forty-five years before her death.

Ruth graduated from Bemidji (Minnesota) State College and earned a master’s degree in English education from Buffalo State College. Guided by a vision, she sought to make her Parkside neighborhood and the city a better place. A strong woman, Ruth was not one to let many matters pass without scrutiny. Former mayor Jimmy Griffin never forgave her after she, once, compared him to Mussolini. Neighbor Frank Mesiah said in City Hall, “If you said you knew Ruth, people got scared.” She accepted that. The world is too full of folks who say what you want them to say.

Seldom taking the easy path, Ruth included the Parkside Community Association (PCA), the Buffalo Public Schools system, the Darwin Martin House, and working in her garden among her passions. In addition to working as a housing specialist for the PCA, she had served as the group’s president and remained an active member until her death. A member of the Design Review and Long Range Planning Committees for the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, she, also, co-chaired the North Buffalo Neighbors Aging in Place Transportation Committee.

In 2013, she and her husband were honored as the Erie County Legislature Citizens of the Month for March. They, also, created the David and Ruth Lampe Poetry Endowment at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. A past PTA president at School 54 and at the City Honors School, Ruth taught for eighteen years at School 81; the Bennett, Emerson, and Seneca High Schools; the Hutchinson Central Technical High School and the Buffalo Academy of The Visual and Performing Arts. She was also a volunteer at the Darwin Martin House. She retired from teaching to spend time with her grandchildren, but always kept a hand in the local political scene and at her church, St. Paul’s Lutheran of Eggertsville, where she had served as president and Sunday school teacher. Despite her enjoyment of politics, in her final days, she liked to say, “At least, I will miss the 2016 election.

Survivors include her husband; her two sons, Jeffrey (Monica) Lampe, of Elmwood, Illinois, and Paul (Kathy) Lampe, of Rochester, New York; her brother, Larry (Joan Lynch) Eickstaedt, of Olympia, Washington; her sister-in-law, Cherie Eickstaedt, of Denver, Colorado; her brother-in-law, Richard (Maxine) Lampe, of Storm Lake, Iowa; and seven grandchildren, Henry, Victor, Meghan, Lauren, Walter, John, and Caitlin; as well as many nieces and nephews.

A visitation will take place between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 11, 2015, at St. Paul’s Lutheran, 4007 Main St., Eggertsville, with the family present. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 12, 2015, at St. Paul’s, Pastor Steve Biegner presiding. A memorial luncheon will follow. Burial will take place at a later date at St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery in rural Albert City, Iowa. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hospice Buffalo, 225 Como Park Boulevard, Cheektowaga, New York 14227-1480, or to St. Paul’s Lutheran Memorial Fund, 4007 Main St., Eggertsville, New York 14226. Cremation will be accorded. The Harry A. Wedekindt Funeral Home of Buffalo is in charge of the arrangements.

Copyright © 2015, Lester H. Wedekindt Funeral Home, Buffalo, New York


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