Riley, Ruth A.


Ruth A. Riley, 75, of Winona, Minn., and formerly of La Crosse, Wis., passed away after a brief illness on Sunday, February 17, 2019, at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse.

She was born on February 8, 1944, in Winona, to Emil and Viola (Volkman) Pflughoeft. She married Patrick Riley in 1964 and they later divorced. She was the proud mother of four children. Ruth will be best remembered for her love for her family and her kindness to others. She was always happiest when surrounded by family and friends.

Ruth was a talented seamstress and over the years enjoyed making dresses as well as many intricate costumes for her children and grandchildren. During the last several years she made bags, pillows, and other sewn items for the RSVP program in La Crosse. She always put others first, and would help anyone in need. She had a wonderful gift to be compassionate and forgiving. She will be especially missed by those who knew and loved her.

Ruth is lovingly survived by her children, Curtis (Molly) Riley, La Crosse, Tracy Riley, Mindoro, Wis., Shane Riley, Onalaska, Wis., and Jami Rosenbush, Winona; 11 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; brothers, LaVern (Carol) Pflughoeft and Kenneth Pflughoeft; sister, Betty (Dennis) Johnson; as well as other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Helen Wise; brothers, Raymond, Harold, and Robert Pflughoeft; as well as an infant brother.

Ruth was a member of Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in La Crosse, and was employed over the years as a seamstress with KnitCraft and the Knitting Mills in Winona, and also with Desmond’s Formal Wear in La Crosse.

Visitation will be held from 5 p.m. until the funeral service at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, February 22, 2019, at the Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home. The Reverend David Leistekow will officiate. Ruth will be laid to rest in the spring at the Witoka Cemetery.

Memorials may be directed to Immanuel Ev. Lutheran Church, 803 St. Paul Street, La Crosse, Wis., 54603.

Online condolences or memories may be left for Ruth’s family at

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