Ruth Helen Gennrich was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 25, 1936, to Alfred and Dorothy (Weiss) Gennrich.
She graduated from Northwestern University in 1958 with a Bachelors degree in Theater and Speech Education. She worked in all phases of theater production in San Francisco and Actor’s Workshop and in New York City at Lincoln Center and Columbia University from 1958 to 1972.
In 1972 she moved to Lawrence, Kansas and was a Teaching Assistant in the University of Kansas theater department while studying biology. She received her Masters degree in Systematics and Ecology in 1975.
Following a year as Educational Director at the North American Wildlife Park in Battleground, Indiana which housed a pack of Wolves, she returned to Lawrence where she was Director of Public Education at the University of Kansas Natural History Museum, which included running the Summer Workshops for Young People program for hundreds of children each summer, for over 20 years until her retirement in 1998.
Ruth enjoyed traveling throughout the world learning about the people and animals and their various habitats.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Mary Butterbrodt and nephew Karl Butterbrodt. She is survived by three nephews; Jay Butterbrodt and Cheryl Barczak, Tim and Lupe Butterbrodt, and Paul and Roseann Butterbrodt, and six grand nieces and nephews.
Ruth was active in the Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE). She served several terms as treasurer and as their representative to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Nongame Wildlife Advisory Counsel. (KNWAC). She also was NE area representative for the Kansas Museum Association (KMA) and participated in the Mountain Plains Museum Association, (MPMA).
A celebration of her life will be held at a later date.
If you wish to make a donation in Ruth’s memory, please make a donation to Always & Furever Midwest Animal Sanctuary 23595 W. 223rd St Spring Hill, KS 66083 or may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.