Ruth H. Laux (nee Panzel), 89, of Oak Park, died quietly on Sept. 7 after a long illness. She was born on Dec. 22, 1930 in St. Goar am Rhein, Germany, where her father, Walter Panzel, piloted boats along the river. She spent her early years in St. Goar, surviving great personal loss and hardship during World War II. After graduating from secondary school, she spent two years studying in Birmingham, England, where she became proficient in English and obtained work as a secretary at the American Embassy in Bonn, Germany. It was there that she met and married Dean Laux, with whom she came to the United States in 1957.

Ruth worked for Oak Park School District 97 for many years, first as a teaching assistant at Longfellow School and then as head of the Media Services Department at the administrative office. She had a special affection for children and loved taking care of her home and family. She enjoyed growing and arranging flowers and had a great appreciation for opera, literature, and art. Loved by her family, she will always be “die Allerliebste.”

Ruth, also known as Oma, is survived by her former husband and by three children, Dennis (Janice) Laux, Dianne Laux, and Debra (Vitaliy) Muraiti; her grandchildren, Emily (Ian) Marcheschi, Alyson (Will) Sandwick, Victoria, Alexandra, and Elizabeth Muraiti; and by her great-grandson, Ezra Marcheschi. 

Ruth Laux was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest where a private memorial service will be held. 

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in her memory to the Chicago Botanic Garden ( or to the Morton Arboretum (  

Arrangements were handled by Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home.

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