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Obituary for Kathleen Rose Ruffalo

December 27, 1939 – August 11, 2023

Kathleen Rose Ruffalo (née Willmes), 83, passed away on Aug. 11, 2023, at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee surrounded by her family.

Kathleen Rose Ruffalo
Kathleen Rose Ruffalo

Kathy was born to the late Charles and Helen (née Esser) Willmes on Dec. 27, 1939, in Racine. She graduated from St. Catherine’s High School, class of 1957.

Kathy first worked for InSinkErator as an executive secretary in the engineering department. After having children, she became a homemaker. Kathy was very devoted to her family. She never missed an event; her children and grandchildren could always count on her to be there in the front row, showing them love and support. After Kathy’s children were a little older, she returned to work as a bridal consultant at JCPenney until her retirement in 2001. Kathy was a devoted member of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church.

Kathy will be deeply missed by her children, Terri Voyles, Tom (Kim) Ruffalo, Tamra (Michael) Black, Tena (Mike) Chaffee and Troy (Jodie) Ruffalo; grandchildren, Ariana Voyles, Annalise (Jacob) Dorst, Autumn and Austin Voyles, Abby (Tyler) Platz, Katie and Trenton Ruffalo, Hanna, Greta, George and Jack Black, Mackenzie (Sam) Miles, Connor and Spencer Chaffee, Vincenzo and Stella Ruffalo; great-grandchildren, Ross and Ren Miles; former husband, Ronald Ruffalo; siblings, Mary Willmes, Helen (John) Miller, Tim Willmes (Lynn Crawford); dear friends Barb Walker, Gloria Sikes, and Karen Vinkavich; along with many more friends and relatives too numerous to mention.

Kathy was preceded in death by her baby sister, Nancy Jean Willmes; sister and brother-in-law, Arlene and Joe Blommel; and son-in-law, Brian Voyles.


A funeral mass for Kathy will be held at 11 a.m., with a 10 a.m. visitation, on Aug. 28 at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church. Memorials in Kathy’s name may be directed to St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church.

Obituary and photo of Kathleen Rose Ruffalo courtesy of Wilson Funeral Home.

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