Debra A. Ruh

Debra A. “Debbie” Ruh, age 64, (technically “Sweet 16″) of Dubuque, passed away peacefully at 5:31 p.m., on Monday, March 18, 2024, at Stonehill Heath Center after a short battle with cancer.  To honor Debbie’s life, family and friends may visit from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., on Friday, March 22, 2024, at Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, where there will be a parish scripture service held at 3:45 p.m.  Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Holy Spirit Parish, Holy Ghost Church, 2921 Central Avenue, with Rev. Jeff Frieden officiating.  Entombment will be in the Mt. Calvary Cemetery Mausoleum.

Debbie was born on Leap Day, February 29, 1960, in Dubuque, Iowa, daughter of Donald and Lorraine (Witt) Heming Sr.

She attended Holy Ghost Grade School and graduated from Hempstead High School in Dubuque.  She married the love of her life, Edward J. “Ed” Ruh, on May 28, 1983, at Holy Ghost Church.  The couple had a wonderful life together and completed their family when they adopted their son Joe in 1989.  Sadly Ed passed away on February 2, 2020, shortly before their 37th wedding anniversary.  She was a long time member of Holy Ghost Church in Dubuque.  Debbie was an extremely devoted wife and mom who loved to work.  She worked in the Environmental Services Department at Stonehill Franciscan Services, retiring after 11 years and also at Taco John’s for many years.  Her family was her greatest joy and Debbie especially looked forward to seeing the grandchildren any chance she could.  She loved spending time at the house in North Buena Vista fishing and just enjoying nature.  She was a fan of watching NCIS, Fire Country and all the Chicago shows on TV, and rooting on the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs.  She also enjoyed quiet time doing word search puzzles.  Everyone who knew her knew that Debbie loved her ice cream treats and chocolate milk.  Debbie was a wonderful woman who made the world around her a better place.  We will miss her tremendously.

Those left to cherish Debbie’s memory include

her son,
Joe Ruh;

3 grandchildren,
Penelope (10), Olive (7), Holden (3) Ruh;

a brother,
Don (Lynne Lippert) Heming, Dubuque, IA;

her in-laws,
John (Phyllis) Ruh, Marion, IA
and Francine “Fran” Fagan, Dubuque, IA;

and many nieces and nephews.

Debbie was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Ed Ruh; 5 sisters, Pat (Don) Freiburger, Kay (Pete) Splinter, Dot (Bob) Hentges, Judy (Tom) Hanson and Sandy Heming; a brother-in-law, Aaron Fagan; and a sister-in-law, Marie Ruh.

Debbie’s family would like to thank the nurses and staff of Stonehill and Hospice of Dubuque for their kind and compassionate care of Debbie these past weeks.

The family will thankfully receive your support through greeting cards and memorials in Debbie’s memory which may be mailed to Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa 52001, Attn. Debbie Ruh Family.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

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