Mayme Ruth Wagner

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Mayme Ruth Wagner, 89, passed away Wednesday, October 24, 2018. She was born July 20, 1929 to Richard and Anna Belle (Beard) Roberson in Broaddus, Texas where they owned and operated a farm. Later she and her family moved to Kansas City where, as a teenager, Ruth demonstrated her evolving fashion skills when she was charged with designing and finishing women’s fashion window displays for a large downtown department store.

In 1945, two days before VE day, she won a beauty contest from a pool of 500 contestants which opened up jobs for her as a fashion model over the next decade. Her contest win brought her to the attention of a wealthy aircraft manufacturer who offered to take her to Hollywood and make her a star but Ruth’s father, Richard, rather strenuously insisted that he withdraw the offer. Ruth married her high school sweetheart, Charles L Lehr upon his return from the war and they had two children, Johanna Sue and Charles Michael. In 1951 she married Donald Luke and had a son, Donald Richard. Shortly after, she and her family moved to Glendive, Montana when her husband was promoted to regional manager for Dowell an oil field chemical company. As a widow, in 2004 she moved to Derby KS to be with her daughter and family.

Ruth loved fashion, fishing, gardening, and travel. An enterprising woman, she owned and operated Ruth’s Style Shop, a successful women’s fashion store in Glendive. She designed and built her dream house, became something of a gourmet cook and lived life on her own terms. Ruth was always looking to the next thing.

She was preceded in death by her parents Richard and Anna Belle Roberson; husbands, Charles L Lehr, Donald Luke, and Douglas E Wagner; sister, Mava Nell Dietrich; and brother, Jack B Roberson. Ruth is survived by her daughter Johanna Sue and sonin-law Gerald R Chelgren of Derby KS, son Charles M Lehr of Phoenix AZ, son Donald R Luke, of Seattle WA; 8 grandchildren: Tim and his wife Tina Chelgren, Tammie and her husband Brad Painter, Toni and her husband Todd Haight, Cherri and her husband Larry Walsh, Corrie and her husband Robert Wotisky, Justin and his wife Guia Lehr, Michelle and her husband Joshua Cisneros, and Noël Luke; 17 great-grandchildren; and 3 great-great grandchildren.

Memorial Service Friday, November 2, 2018 at 2:00 pm at Smith Family Mortuary – Derby Chapel, 1415 N. Rock Road, Derby, KS 67037. Private family inurnment in Texas at a later date.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimer’s Association - Central and Western Kansas Chapter, 1820 E. Douglas Ave., Wichita, KS 67214-4213.

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