Ruth Ann (Green) Haberland

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MIDDLETON–Ruth Ann (Green) Haberland passed away peacefully on Jan. 28, 2021, surrounded by her family. She is survived by her loving husband of 64 years, Franklin Haberland; three daughters, Mary (Jim Hengelbrok), Ann (Doug Cloutier) and Catherine; nine grandchildren, Kenny Hanway, David Hengelbrok, Tim Hengelbrok, Michael Hengelbrok, Lara Hengelbrok, Elizabeth Haberland-Ervin, Caroline Haberland-Ervin, Sean Cloutier and Jake Cloutier; sister, Donna Green; brother and sister-in-law, John and Sue Green; brothers-in-law, Martin Haberland and Bill Diedrich; and her niece, nephew, and many Green and Esser cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, Don and Marion Green; and her brother, Jim Green.

Ruth Ann was born March 16, 1935, in Madison. For nearly all of her life, she lived in Middleton. After graduating from Middleton High School, she attended UW-Whitewater, where she studied to be a teacher before returning home to work in the Registrar’s office at UW-Madison. Ruth was involved in many different volunteer activities, even when she was busy raising her daughters. When her daughters were older and she returned to outside employment, Ruth worked first at Sears, where she developed her life-long love of all things Winnie the Pooh and delighted in wearing the bear costume for customers. Later she worked for the Middleton School libraries and then as an administrative assistant for the UW Navy ROTC, where she was known as “Mom” and given an honorary membership to the NROTC.  She retired from the U.W. Meat and Animal Science Department in 1995.  

After her retirement, Ruth Ann increased her volunteer activities and gave her time and talents to the Historic First Lutheran Church, the Middleton Area Historical Society, the American Girl benefit sale for the Madison Children’s Museum, the American Heart Association, and St. Martin House. She was also appointed to the Middleton Landmark Commission, where she served for a number of years.  

Ruth was always known for her generosity, her adventurous spirit, the fun celebrations she hosted, and her beautiful smile. She was a champion Scrabble player and loved playing bridge with her friends. She was smart and creative, and enjoyed refinishing furniture as well as researching and writing about Middleton history. Ruth loved to travel. She and Frank visited many states and countries and treated their family to a memorable vacation in Hawaii to celebrate their 50th anniversary. She also traveled to many faraway places with her friends and on her own, including a solo trip to South Africa to welcome and care for her youngest grandchild. 

Most of all, Ruth loved spending time with her children, grandchildren, and friends, especially “Ruthie I” (Brooks), Carolyn (Denson) and Mary Ellen (Schlough), who never forgot her even when she could no longer remember them. She was a wonderful daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and friend, and she was loved immensely by all of us. In the words of Mom’s favorite bear, “How lucky [we] are to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” 

A private service will take place at St. Bernard Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Middleton Area Historical Society, Middleton Outreach Ministry, or the Historic First Lutheran Church of Middleton. Online condolences may be made at gundersonfh.com.

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