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Ruth W Aberle Godding
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Birth: Apr. 24, 1915
Dane County
Wisconsin, USA
Death: May 28, 2004
Dane County
Wisconsin, USA


VERONA - Ruth W. Godding, age 89, of Verona died on Friday, May 28, 2004. She was born on April 24, 1915, in the Township of Madison, the daughter of Max and Hattie (Schimming) Aberle. Ruth graduated from Franklin School and from Central High School in Madison. She was united in marriage to Charles "Les" Godding on Jan. 20, 1930, at Saint Raphael's Cathedral in Madison. They enjoyed 73 wonderful years of marriage together. She spent her years raising five beautiful children and their families. Her many passions included spending time with her family and friends, playing games, square dancing, and spending time at their cabin. She loved to help others in their time of need.

She was preceded in death by:
- Bob Aberle
- Elenore Edwards
- Norman Edwards

Wisconsin State Journal on May 30, 2004


To Lester Godding, it still seems like only yesterday that he married his wife Ruth Aberle. They actually married 70 years ago, on Jan. 20, 1931, at St. Raphael's Cathedral. That's when she was "going on 16" and he was three days short of age 20. The couple, who live in Verona, grew up in Madison. Their fathers were neighbors and went to the same school (Draper Elementary on Dayton Street). The Goddings lived on Main Street, near Proudfit, and he attended Longfellow Elementary School. The Aberles lived on South Park Street, and she attended Franklin Elementary. Both went to Central High School.

"I first saw her out at my uncle's house; she lived nearby," recalls Lester. His wife doesn't remember that.
It was later, when Lester spotted her walking by the filling station, where he worked part-time, that he took the opportunity to introduce himself. "I thought she was pretty cute," Lester confesses.

Ruth was strolling by with a girlfriend. "Sometimes you just have to be a little pushy," he admits, with a grin, They raised five children, four daughters and a son. "We grew up along with them," Lester says, and that hasn't always been easy. Consider the height of the Depression. He was a truck driver for the state of Wisconsin (for 17 years), going to hospitals and prisons around the state sometimes delivering potatoes, or molasses for cattle. He made $25 per month when he started, There were other rough spots. "I didn't like being home alone with the kids at night (when he was on the road), especially when the kids were sick," Ruth says. She nursed her daughters Yvonne and Donna through whooping cough. Then another daughter, Ruthie, came down with scarlet fever and had to be hospitalized. Still another daughter, Delores, contracted pneumonia as a baby.

When their son, Bill, was born, "Lester was off the road and home, so it was easier," Ruth says. Lester later worked for Chevrolet and then as fleet manager for Borden's. Ruth worked at The Edgewater, waited tables at the Eagles Club, and was a school crossing guard for 10 years.

The Goddings now have 18 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and two great-greatgrandchildren (two more are on the way). When the couple first retired, they moved to Adams/Friendship. Lester built a cabin 10 miles north of Friendship, at Big Flats. Those were good days, when the children and grandchildren came out to visit a lot while they were building. "We did square dancing and met nice people, though most of them are gone now," he says. During one beastly hot summer, a tornado hit near the cabin. Though the building fared well, the trees were destroyed, including a huge white pine that was a favorite. A neighbor lost her home, and two others died because of the tornado, so the Goddings consider themselves lucky. It was a simpler life, the husband and wife say. For fun, they would have picnics in the parks, take a drive, watch a storm go by from the safety of their front porch. The children stayed home a lot. Daughter Ruthie played in the band at Central. The others sang in the glee club. The younger kids had slumber parties and, by that time, they also had TV. "We were living in Blooming Grove in 1953 when we got our first TV," Lester remembers. They didn't go to movies, and Godding never had a vacation in all the years he worked for the state. Every time he got a raise, there would be a rent hike or increase in the price of groceries. If you had enough to eat and a place to live, that was satisfaction. But in later years, they took trips to Winnipeg, to visit friends. Lester was Catholic and Aberle converted to Catholicism when they married. "Monsignor Mahoney (who was Father Mahoney at St. Raphael's at the time) helped me a lot," Ruth says. "He let me come and talk to him about problems and how to work them out, and one time he said, 'priests are still human beings.'

Ruth's grandparents (all four) were from Germany, and as a child she remembers her parents speaking German at home. She was sorry they didn't teach her to speak German, and that they wanted to be able to talk without having the kids know what was said. Ruth also never learned a lot about her family history, as children were to be seen and not heard. Personal questions weren't encouraged. She liked to roller skate, though she and friends had to walk quite a way to find a sidewalk. There was a hill on Old Park Street; they would skate up and down.

Today, the Goddings' apartment is filled with photographs of the grandchildren and knicknacks that are special gifts from friends. They have a cat named Sam. They sometimes watch Oprah or Montel, but usually don't turn on the TV before evening. The Goddings also visit friends at the Verona Senior Citizens Center in Sugar Creek Apartments, where they go for a meal and to play bingo, though they are not really big on bingo. So what is the secret to their 70-year marriage?

He says it is partly clean living. They never drank, and he didn't smoke. (She quit smoking in 1969.) She says the key is "that you put up with a lot and try to overlook the things you don't want to see."

Madison Capital Times - January 16, 2001

Family links: 
  Maximillian Aberle (1888 - 1958)
  Hattie L Schimming Aberle (1892 - 1954)
  Charles L Godding (1911 - 2006)*
  Ruth W Godding Bongey (1931 - 2004)*
  Eleanor M Aberle Edwards (1913 - 1986)*
  Ruth W Aberle Godding (1915 - 2004)
  John (infant) Aberle (1922 - 1922)*
*Calculated relationship
Resurrection Cemetery
Dane County
Wisconsin, USA
Plot: Section 5
Created by: northernpeach ㈤...
Record added: Feb 14, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 84969045
Ruth W <i>Aberle</i> Godding
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Ruth W <i>Aberle</i> Godding
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Added by: Irma Ward Slawson
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