Cover photo for Ruth Aline (Lane)  Schluter's Obituary
1930 Ruth 2023

Ruth Aline (Lane) Schluter

September 28, 1930 — June 15, 2023

Born to Alice Laflin and Clarence Lane in Phillipsburg, Kansas, on Sunday, September 28, 1930, Ruth Aline Lane Schluter lived for 92 years with abiding love for her family, pets, and classical music. She died peacefully on Thursday, June 15, 2023, at Presbyterian Rust Medical Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, attended by family members
through the final days of her life. Ruth's early experiences inspired her lifelong empathy, independence, work ethic, and love of music. Against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl in rural Kansas, she told of how her mother, Alice, would give sandwiches to the men (then called "hobos") who were hopping freight trains in search of work. "Ruthie" and her sister, two years older, Clarine (Claire), occupied themselves in creative play at the Phillips County courthouse where their mother worked as County Treasurer and later as County Social Welfare Director. Music was a big part of life as Ruth and Claire sang in choirs and Ruth spent hours playing the piano. Early in Ruth's life, her father Clarence, who had suffered a brain injury in WWI, was committed to VA care. Ruth remembered how her mother worked, cared for her parents, and drove the girls on summer trips to southeastern Colorado to visit Clarence at the VA hospital in Ft. Lyon until Clarence's condition made these visits too difficult to bear. Ruth's post-elementary years occurred against the backdrop of WWII and its aftermath. Ruth was eleven years old in 1941 when the U.S. entered WWII. In 1942, her mother re-married William (Bill) O. Nielsen, a widower and railroad man. In 1948, Ruth graduated from Bellevue High School in Nebraska and started college at Omaha University. Her interest was in musical performance, but concern for economics led her to switch majors from music to business administration. Racing to finish college before VA education benefits would run out, she completed her Bachelor's degree in 1951, a month shy of turning 21. In college, Ruth met Leonard Schluter, a chemistry major, who impressed her with wit and intelligence. After Leonard finished U.S. Naval Officer Candidate School, Ruth accepted Leonard's proposal to marry. In 1952, she traveled alone aboard the SS Lurline to Honolulu, Hawaii and the couple married in a ceremony at the Pearl Harbor Submarine Memorial Chapel. The couple lived for a time in San Diego, and when Leonard's naval tour ended, they moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico. Between 1957 and 1963, Ruth and Leonard had four children while Leonard worked as a chemist for NASA on projects and programs ranging from Gemini and Mercury to Apollo and Viking. In the late 1960s, Ruth began graduate studies at NMSU, obtained a teaching certificate in elementary education, and when all four children were in school, she returned to work first as a substitute teacher and later as a church secretary. Ruth and Leonard divorced in 1979, and in the early 1980s, Ruth moved to Albuquerque with her youngest, Bill, still in high school. While working full-time with the University of New Mexico Tumor Registry, she finished a Master of Arts in Counseling Services from Webster University at Kirtland Air Force Base in December 1983. While she had hopes of working in education or human services, economic considerations again drove a major life decision - this time to take a position as tax representative with the State of New Mexico Department of Labor. She retired on Friday, September 29, 1995, a day after turning 65. A certificate signed by Clinton D. Darden Jr., NM Department of Labor Secretary, credits Ruth with "many years of dedication, loyalty, and extraordinary concern in service to the people of New Mexico." Ruth was preceded in death by her biological father, Clarence Lane; her stepfather, Bill Nielsen; her mother, Alice Laflin Lane Nielsen; and her sister, Claire Glasser. Ruth is survived by four children-Leslie (Drew Sweeney) Schluter, Mark (Sonja) Schluter, Janette Schluter, and William "Bill" (Patty) Schluter; nephew Chris Cole; twelve grandchildren--Emily Michaels-Moore, Whitny Schluter, Margaret Schluter, Marcus Schluter, Corey Brown, Leigh Ross, Victoria ("Tori") Schluter, Brittany Fitzgerald, Sara Rolison, Anthony Schluter, Mackenzie Sweeney, and Connor Sweeney; and fifteen great- grandchildren. Ruth modeled empathy, patience, work ethic, independence, sensitivity, and resilience. She enriched the lives of her children and others in every endeavor and took enormous pride in her family.
A Funeral Service is planned for Friday, July 7, 2023, 10:00 a.m., at First United Methodist Church, 315 Coal Avenue SW, Albuquerque.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Ruth Aline (Lane) Schluter, please visit our flower store.

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Friday, July 7, 2023

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