Ruth Benz

  • Born: June 23, 1928
  • Died: December 5, 2015
  • Location: Littleton, Colorado

Lange Funeral Home & Crematory LLC

1900 South 18th Street
Centerville, IA 52544
Tel. (641) 856-2000

Tribute & Message From The Family

Mrs. Betty Ruth (McCoy) Benz, age 87, formerly of Centerville, Iowa, passed away peacefully in her sleep on December 5, 2015, in Littleton, Colorado, where she has resided for the last 2 ½ years.

Ruth was born on June 23, 1928 to Taylor and Iva McCoy in Centerville. She was married to her husband, James Edward Benz in 1946. They lived for a short time near Moulton, Iowa, after their marriage, but lived in Centerville, Iowa, for 60 years on the historic Prospect Dairy Farm.

James and Ruth were recognized as Farm Family of the year in 1974. Ruth, a farmer's wife, was also a well-known and respected grade-school teacher in the Appanoose and Centerville School Systems for over 30 years. In 1993 she was recognized for her excellence in teaching by being selected as Teacher of the Year by the Masonic Lodge. She was a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary organization of women educators. Ruth was a long-time member of the First Baptist Church in Centerville where she served as a deaconess.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, 4 siblings, and her husband.

Ruth is survived by 1 sister (Bernice Craver, Exline, IA), 3 children (Judy Kiesz, Kirkland, WA; Barbara [John] Bowen, Littleton, CO; and John [Goldie] Benz, Olathe, KS), 8 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 2 PM Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at the First Baptist Church in Centerville, Iowa with Pastor Lloyd Johnston officiating. A visitation will be held Wednesday, December 9 from 10AM-2PM at First Baptist Church in Centerville. Burial will follow in the Sharon Chapel Cemetery. Memorials have been established to the First Baptist Church and may be mailed to Lange Funeral Home, 1900 S. 18th St., Centerville, Iowa, 52544. Condolences may be shared online at


Condolence & Memory Journal

Mrs. Ruth Benz, you will never ever be forgotten, may you be singing with Angels in Heave, thank you for being so kind to so many children in Southern Iowa in the tiny community of Centerville

Posted by Brian Harrington - Dallas Texas / Centerville I, TX - Teacher   January 09, 2019

I am so sorry to see of Ruth's passing. Although I had not seen her for some years she was always a pleasant memory when thought of. She was a kind woman and had good things to say about many people. I hope the many wonderful memories you have of her will bring you comfort.

Posted by Dianne Strickler - Springville, IA - friend   January 09, 2016

Mrs. Benz was one of my favorite teachers! We shared the same birthday and she told me several years ago that she still thought of me every June 23rd. I too think of her on that day!

Posted by Shawn Drake Hook - Humeston, IA - former 3rd grade student   December 22, 2015

Rest In Peace Mrs. Benz you will always be remembered as a very special dear teacher, may God watch over you and your family.

Posted by Brian Harrington - Dallas, TX - Student 3rd Grade   December 10, 2015

Mrs. Benz was a favorite teacher of both of my brothers, while they were in grade school. My husband Steve Widmar, and I got to know Ruth years later as "pew mates" at First Baptist Church. Being in education myself, gave Ruth and I lots to talk about over the past few years. What a kind, sweet amazing person Ruth was to so many! Our thoughts and prayers go out to John and his family at this sad time.

Posted by Vanessia Oden - Cincinnati, IA - Friend and Graduated with John   December 08, 2015

I can still hear Ruth's voice to this day. It had such a unique quality. She was so kind and caring.
Had so many fun times at their home playing hide and seek in the dark in that huge farm yard! Also cleaning out the hay mow for Baptist youth group and choking on all that dust. That was some good times including the grime and grass stains. That family gave alot of young kids some really great memories!
My heartfelt sympathy to you all.

Carol Pickard Kelley

Posted by Carol Kelley    December 08, 2015

Please accept my condolences at this time, John and Goldie. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Posted by Cynthia Amsden - Plano, IA - Friend of John and Goldie   December 08, 2015

Just wanted to tell you that Dottie Abrahamson keeps me in touch with your family. She teaches here in Urbandale where I work.

I will not be able to be at the funeral or visitation, but wanted you to know that our family and yours are long time farmers and friends.

John, missed you at the class reunion, hope you can come some year when it works. The 1973 class met at Pancake Day this past year.

My deepest sympathy,
Julia Messersmith Taylor

Posted by Julia Messersmith Taylor - Ankeny, IA - friends/ neighbor   December 08, 2015

To the Family...
Please accept our sincere sympathy and prayers, and may your loving memories give you peace.

Posted by Dennis & Beverly Sisul Laurson - Centerville   December 08, 2015

Mrs. Benz was my first grade teacher, and I loved her so much as a teacher. She was my favorite! Luckily I got to see her for many years at church. She was so kind and will be missed.

Posted by Melanie (Phillips) Briggs - Albia, IA - former student   December 07, 2015

Rest in peace Mrs.Benz.......You were an amazing 3 rd grade teacher and I just loved all the years as a student at Lincoln Elementary...Thoughts and prayers sent to all family during this difficult time...and time that followes......MaryJo and Wade Adams and family....

Posted by maryjoadams - centerville, IA - 3 rd grade student.......   December 07, 2015