GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Ruth Schmoll, 93, passed away peacefully in Grand Junction, Colo., on June 2, due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease. She was an accomplished pianist and competitive bridge player who also loved reading and travel.

Ruth was born March 14, 1925, in Woodbury, N.J., to James LeRoy Wentzell and Vera Hurff. She was the oldest of three daughters. In 1942, Ruth graduated from high school in Pitman, N.J., and went to secretarial school.

Her first job was with General Mills in Philadelphia, Pa. — which required she take a train, ferry and trolley to get there each day. She then worked for Mobil Oil during World War II and moved on to General Chemical in 1946. About that time she met Morris Schmoll who impressed her with his fancy moves at the local roller skating rink. After a five-year breakup they got back together — Ruth said her new hairstyle brought him back around. They were married on April 17, 1948.

For the next decade or so Ruth worked for an executive at RCA and Morris worked his way up the education career ladder. In 1959, Ruth left the workforce to be a stay-at-home mom. She and Morris moved to New England in 1968 after Morris landed a job as a school superintendent in Ludlow, Vt.

Ruth loved their rural home with views of the local ski area and starry skies at night. Her two children, Derek and Laura, appreciated the move as well and both became outdoor enthusiasts, passionate about snowmobiling and skiing.

Once the kids were a little older Ruth returned to the workforce as a secretary and bookkeeper. She and Morris moved back to New Jersey in 1978 and bought a lot in Florida in 1983, when Morris retired. They then sold everything they owned and became full-time RVers traveling across the country and landing in Alaska for a summer as national forest campground hosts. Then it was back to Florida for more campground hosting at Ocala National Forest.


After three years on the road they built a home on their lot in Silver Springs, Fla., where Ruth took an aptitude test and found out she might make a good Realtor. The test was right; she became a million-dollar producer for 16 years until she retired at age 78. She and Morris moved to Grand Junction in 2003 to be near their daughter and enjoy Colorado. When Morris’ health began to fail they moved to Maine where son Derek lived so Morris could spend his remaining years near the ocean. Morris passed away in 2010 and Ruth returned to Grand Junction, where she joined numerous bridge clubs and began playing the piano for seniors in assisted living facilities. She volunteered at the library and Heirlooms for Hospice.

She was an adventurer, taking numerous solo elder hostel trips including one as she approached 90 years old that required a nighttime ferry ride to reach her destination. Ruth will be greatly missed by her family, friends and numerous caregivers who appreciated her sweet disposition and tendency to tell it like it is.

She was preceded in death by her parents, and sisters Dorothy Mitton and Betty Parker.

She is survived by her son, Derek (Claire), of Lisbon; daughter, Laura Carlson-Palo (Bryce), of Grand Junction, Colo.; grandsons Zachary Schmoll (Margaret) of Lisbon, Nevin Carlson of Grand Junction, Colo., Anders Carlson of Bend, Ore.; great-grandsons Keegan and Rowan Schmoll; and great-granddaughter, MaKenna Schmoll, of Lisbon.

Ruth Schmoll

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