June 7, 1939 ~ March 17, 2009
Ruth Ann Unseth Burton of Tierra Linda Ranch, Kerrville, Texas and Crystal Lake, Cable, Wisconsin passed away peacefully at home on March 17, 2009 after a brave three-year fight against cancer.
She is survived by her husband, James L. Burton; two sons Mark Kovach and his wife Terri of Itaska, Illinois and their children Mark, Jr., Stephanie, Christina, Kevin, and Steven; Peter Kovach and his wife Monica and their daughter Shannon of White Bear Lake Minnesota; a sister, Dorothy Unseth Behling of Belleair, Florida and Lake Owen, Drummond, Wisconsin and two step children, Scott Burton of Rockport, Texas and Patti Kremensek of Sheridan, Wyoming. Her parents Arthur James Unseth and Ella Berg Unseth and her Brother James Arthur Unseth, all of Drummond, Wisconsin, preceded her in death.
Ruth was born June 7, 1939 in Ashland, Wisconsin. She received her primary and secondary educations in the Drummond schools. After her marriage in 1957 to her first husband, Frank Kovach, a teacher and school administrator, she lived in various places including Mundelin, Illinois; Iowa City, Iowa; La Crosse, Wisconsin; Lake Forest, Illinois Forest City, Iowa and Rockport, Texas. Ruth's considerable energy in those years was devoted to caring for her family while at the same time earning a Bachelor's degree from Lake Forest College and Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees from Northern Illinois University.
A talented artist and caring teacher, Ruth served as Professor of Art and Head of the Art Department at Waldorf College, Forest City, Iowa for fifteen years. After she retired from her post at Waldorf in 1994 she pursued her own interests as a photographer and painter. Ruth is known for her large richly colored textural paintings, many of them impressionistic oils of southwestern and northern forest scenes done with palette knife as well as with brush and for her smaller, sensitive nudes and landscapes. She exhibited in many one-woman shows and received two National Endowment for the Arts grants for special exhibitions of her work, including one that presented fifteen of her large canvases at several museums throughout the Midwest. Her work has been displayed in numerous galleries in the southwest and midwest. She and her second husband Jim, a retired Navy pilot and sculptor, maintained studios in Kerrville for most of the year and in northern Wisconsin during the summer.
Ruth is a member of First Presbyterian Church in Kerrville.
A small private celebration of Ruth's life will be held at the Burton home on Tierra Linda Ranch. A second celebration of her life will be held in Drummond this summer at a date yet to be determined.
The family requests that donations in lieu of flowers be made to The Salvation Army, 615 Slater Lane, PO BOX 269 Alexandria, VA. 22313 or online at salvationarmyusa.org. To leave a note for the family, go to www.meadowlawn.net and select Obituaries. Arrangements by Meadowlawn Crematory and American Mortuary, San Antonio, Texas. (800) 641-9992.