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Ruthanne Nerlich, age 86, passed away unexpectedly surrounded by her family on the morning of April 28th, 2024 in her home in Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania.

Ruthanne was born August 14th, 1937 in Pittsburgh, PA, to parents Richard and Mae (Skewis) Sturges. She went on to marry Bernard W. Nerlich in 1960, who preceded her in death.

She is survived by her two children, Bernard R. and Bethanne Nerlich, and 5 grandchildren, Haley Kahle (Josh), Amber Nerlich, Kellianne Nerlich, Hunter Martin, and Trace Martin.

Ruthanne graduated in 1960 from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. Her career began as a registered nurse at the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, then the Jersey City Medical Center, and finally, ending as an educator at Allegheny General Hospital. Ruthanne stepped away from her career when she and Bernie decided to start a family. She did, however, eventually return to the nursing profession in a big way. With the Franklin and Oil City Nurses’ clubs facing closure, Ruthanne fought to merge the two organizations. Eventually she, with the help of others, succeeded and became the Chairman of the Board of the Visiting Nurses Association of Venango County in 1971. Ultimately, she became the Executive Director of the VNA, and remained in this position until her retirement in 2003.

Beyond her unbelievable career and many additional achievements, she continued to be a loving and caring mother, dedicated wife, loving grandmother and a warrior for all in need. She was known to rescue animals at any hour of the day to get them the care they needed and spent countless hours volunteering for the Venango County Humane Society.

If you were lucky enough to know her, you knew her utmost passion in life was animals, especially her greatest friend Josie. The Nerlich household was home to numerous animals over the years, including several Boxer dogs, cats, horses, cattle, and a goat.

Ruthanne spent many winters enjoying the Florida Keys with friends, along with many summers on Conneaut Lake with family. She will be deeply missed.

Her family remembers her for the inspirational woman that she was, but also as the humble, and deeply caring mother, and grandmother that she will always be.  Ruthanne made it her mission to open her doors to anyone and had the unique ability to make each visitor feel at home.  Ruthanne never did anything for the attention, or the thanks. She did it because it was simply how she loved.

Ruthanne will be entombed next to her late husband Bernie at the Franklin Cemetery. Memorials may be sent to the Collins Hospice House of the Venango VNA Foundation at 491 Allegheny Boulevard, Franklin, PA, 16323. Their phone number is (814) 437-0365. Memorials may also be sent to the Venango County Humane Society located at 286 South Main Street, Seneca, PA, 16346. Donations can be made directly on their website.  Arrangements have been entrusted to Loutzenhiser-Jordan Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., 366-368 S. Main St., Greenville.

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20 Comments

  1. Carl and Lee Ann Benvenuto and Family Carl and Lee Ann Benvenuto and Family
    May 1, 2024    

    There are no words to express how deeply sorry we are for your loss. Bona (Ruthanne) was an amazing woman and her accomplishments were endless. Anthony, from the very start, explained all she had accomplished throughout her life and we told him, we have to meet her. That beautiful face and welcoming smile said it all from the first time we met. That look in her eyes telling me herself what she had started and accomplished over the years, made me speechless. She loved everyone and I remember the younger crowds at their picnics always coming to talk with her at the table and she never missed a beat. There are so many beautiful memories you will always have. Astounding mother, grandmother and a friend to all. May you rest in peace. You will truly be missed.

  2. Ted young Ted young
    May 1, 2024    

    Rest in peace ruthanne

  3. Paul King Paul King
    May 1, 2024    

    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of my first cousin. All thought miles apart, we could always talk to one another. That I will miss. Ruthanne was a great lady with her commitment and dedication to her way of life. Many people can thank her for her never tiring to assist and help others. I am extremely proud of her and will always keep a place in my heart with the memories of our family relationships.

  4. Judy Roell May1, 2024 Judy Roell May1, 2024
    May 2, 2024    

    Ruthanne was special. You knew it at her first ‘Hello’! She was kind, so kind, generous indeed, thoughtful and inspirational! She opened her heart to all; so humble and caring. I always felt comfortable around her and we talked about many things in our llves at Sunshine Key. I wish I had told her more often how she lifted up. “Ruthanne, thank you. May you Rest In Peace and Love! I will miss you dearly. my friend”.

  5. Diana and Don Diana and Don
    May 2, 2024    

    Ruthanne was a delight at Sunshine Key she had a good friend in Josie who we all enjoyed Don and I visiting with her She will be missed

  6. Anonymous Anonymous
    May 2, 2024    

    Kellianne, Bernie and Family,
    We are so sorry to hear the passing of your Grandma and Mother. She was such a sweet lady. She always made us feel so welcome in her home, and was always so pleasant and smiling. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. May she rest in peace.
    Barb and Bill Magnotti

  7. Barb and Bill Magnotti Barb and Bill Magnotti
    May 2, 2024    

    Kellianne, Bernie and Family,
    We are so sorry to hear the passing of your Grandma and Mother. She was such a sweet lady. She always made us feel so welcome in her home, and was always so pleasant and smiling. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. May she rest in peace.
    Barb and Bill Magnotti

  8. Love, Sue and Joe Byrne Love, Sue and Joe Byrne
    May 2, 2024    

    Bern, Bethanne and families,
    So sorry for your loss. Ruthanne has made this world a better place with her kindness and open heart. She will be missed.

  9. Judy & Henry Grandelis Judy & Henry Grandelis
    May 2, 2024    

    We are saddened by the passing of dear Ruth Anne. We saw her & her beautiful granddaughter last week at Silver Shores in Conneaut Lake. We had a nice chat & she looked amazing. God bless her. Rest in Peace dear lady.

  10. Trails To Ales Staff Trails To Ales Staff
    May 2, 2024    

    Deepest Sympathies and condolences to Bernie and family from your Staff at Trails To Ales.

  11. John Bell John Bell
    May 2, 2024    

    Bethanne, I am so sorry for your loss.

  12. Greg Greg
    May 2, 2024    

    Bernie and Bethanne,

    My condolences to you and your family on the
    passing of your Mother. Ruthanne was good to me and always treated me like a member of your “extended family”. Good memories that will remain.
    May she rest in peace.

  13. Wanda Gladd Wanda Gladd
    May 2, 2024    

    Dear Bethie,
    I just saw on Venango Explorer that your dear Mom has passed away. We are so very sorry and are sending many hugs and prayers to you and your family. I would really appreciate it if you could get in touch with me. I really miss you and the wonderful times we had together. I have sent you many messages but you must not of received them. I think of you often and hope to hear from you ♥️♥️

  14. Jim & Sue Snavely Jim & Sue Snavely
    May 2, 2024    

    Dear Bern & Bethanne & family’s ,
    We met Ruthanne in the keys. What a wonderful lady! Always had a great smile and care for all.
    Our lives were better because of her presence.
    We think of your mom & dad often , both very special.

  15. Rick and Marie Baker Rick and Marie Baker
    May 2, 2024    

    Ruthanne was a wonderful person. We met her and Bernie a few years ago at Sunshine Key, but, since his passing, she had really become a part of our group of friends. Whether it was coming to happy hour with Josie, or enjoying parties and holiday celebrations with us, we always enjoyed her company, her sense of humor and her kindness. Sitting with her in her cottage, watching her make lintricate beaded jewelry, or beautiful embroidery and talking, about anything….those are memories I will cherish. She was simply lovely !
    Our heartfelt condoléances to Bethanne and Bern. Your mother is now with the love of her life, watching over the two of you and your families

  16. Nancy Bullock Nancy Bullock
    May 3, 2024    

    I met Ruthanne at SSK. She was one of the nicest and gentle woman I’ve had the pleasure to know. She certainly had an amazing life. Deepest sympathy.

  17. Rosalyn A Miller Rosalyn A Miller
    May 3, 2024    

    I would like to express my deepest sympathy for the loss of your beloved mother and grandmother. She was a hard-working and accomplished woman who truly made a difference in this world; she will always be fondly remembered and will never be forgotten. Although her passing will leave a void in your lives that will never be filled, I sincerely hope your happy memories will bring you a small measure of comfort and peace. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad and difficult time.
    Rosalyn Miller

  18. John and Janet Heinlein John and Janet Heinlein
    May 5, 2024    

    Ruthanne was a very beautiful special lady who was wonderful and a pleasure to know. John and I enjoyed her stories and the occasional rum and coke we shared with her. Our prayers are sent to her family. She will be greatly missed at Sunshine Key.

  19. Niki Forrest Niki Forrest
    May 6, 2024    

    After 50 years of being a nurse, I can say Ruthanne was the best nurse manager I ever worked for. She was truly an inspiration. Her door was always open and she would approach new ideas with, “Well, we’ll try it.” She was a visionary and will be dearly missed. Rest in peace, dear Ruthanne.

  20. Karl and BJ Engleka Karl and BJ Engleka
    June 7, 2024    

    Bern and Bethanne and families,

    Your mother was such a unique, and heartwarming person. We met at Pitt. She accomplished so much in her life and showed to be such a caring individual. She shall be missed by all.

    Karl and BJ Engleka

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