Leora Marie (Buschmann) (Ruffner) Scheer, 98, passed away peacefully March 12, 2020 at her home near Hermann surrounded by family, photo albums, books, and flowers. Leora was born on Christmas morning 1921 at her parents’ family home at Bay, Mo. She was the beloved daughter of Louis T. and Alma M. (Schneider) Buschmann.
After teaching at Lost Hill School near Bay and working briefly in St. Louis, she married Wallace C. Ruffner of Bay on Jan. 4, 1950 and had three children — Scott, Robert, and Christine. After Wallace passed away in 1954, Leora married Alfred J. Scheer of New Haven on June 4, 1960. They had one child, Martha Jo.
Leora was predeceased by the untimely passing of her loving husband Wallace C. Ruffner in 1954, and son Scott in 2017. She was also predeceased by her second loving husband of 42 years Alfred J. Scheer in 2002.
Leora was also preceded in death by her parents Louis T. and Alma M. (Schneider) Buschmann; father and mother-in-law John H. and Ida M. (Koch) Ruffner, sister-in-law Beatrice I. Ruffner; father and mother in-law Julius and Maria (Walkenhorst) Scheer; four brothers – Allen, Leonard, Daniel, and an infant shortly after birth.
Surviving are son Robert Ruffner of Columbia, Mo.; daughter Christine Ruffner; grandson Bernard Jones Bingham Ill, both of Columbia, Mo.; daughter Martha (Scheer) Melsha (Jeff) of Kirkwood, Mo.; grandson Jacob Melsha of New York City; granddaughter Olivia Melsha of Potsdam, Germany; sister Doris (Buschmann) Meyer of Linn Creek, Mo.; and numerous relatives, friends, and former students.
Leora was a loving wife, daughter, wonderful and gentle mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend to many. She was gracious, caring, and compassionate, supporting programs and policies to help those in need.
Most of her adult life, she was a dedicated primary grade school teacher and homemaker, and provided care for other members of her extended family. She and her husband Alfred owned the family Christmas tree farm, which they operated with pride for 34 years. Before her first marriage, she worked for a few years in the front office of a dress manufacturer in St. Louis.
She was a student at the one-room Lost Hill School near her childhood home. She also taught there from 1941-1944 after graduating from Owensville High School. Her post high school education included a certificate from Warrensburg Teachers College and, at 48, completion of a BS in Education from the University of Missouri Columbia. Leora loved teaching and helping children to learn the important basics of their education. In the Hermann district she taught at Pershing, Gasconade, Berger, and Big Spring, finishing her teaching career after many years at Swiss school. Many of her students remember her fondly as their favorite teacher.
Among her interests, Leora enjoyed music and loved going to local programs. She also took great pride in the music performances of her daughter Martha, and her grandchildren Jacob and Olivia during their school years and beyond, attending many of their performances. She enjoyed hearing of her sons’ and daughters’ activities. She loved reading, nature, birds, butterflies, flowers, hiking, and photographing a variety of subjects. All of these and good humor would bring a smile. Cooking soups, baking pies, and making ice cream were specialties. She also enjoyed the occasional sail with son Scott on Penobscot Bay.
She participated in bus and personal travel tours to Germany, Canada and many National Parks and locations in the states. She followed current events and history. Her summer favorites included attending local picnics, events, and seeing friends and relatives. She really enjoyed the Christmas holiday season and related festivities and traditions and took particular pride in decorating her Christmas tree. Performing her civic duty was an honor and she served, like her father Louis before her, as a Democratic county election poll judge.
Leora was a life-long, and the oldest, member of Zion-St. Paul UCC Church in Bay, and Women’s Fellowship Zion-St. Paul UCC Church. Other organization memberships included Missouri Retired Teachers Association; Missouri Christmas Tree Producers Association; Gasconade County Democratic Club; World Wildlife Federation; Gasconade County Historical Society; Historic Hermann; and Public Broadcasting System KETC 9.
Leora was an amazing, wonderful and loving person, and led a good life and will be dearly missed by her loving family and many.
Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 virus serious health concerns, family health concerns, and government recommendations, there will be a private service for immediate family only on Sat., March 28. Private burial will be at Zion UCC Cemetery in Bay. A public memorial will be scheduled in the future.
Memorial donations in care of Toedtmann-Grosse can be made to Gasconade County R-1 School District Back-Pack Program (helps to provide food for students); Women’s Fellowship of Zion-St. Paul UCC Church at Bay; or family choice.