Cover photo for Ruth Kelling's Obituary
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1932 Ruth 2024

Ruth Kelling

January 10, 1932 — March 27, 2024


Ruth Bohls Kelling, sweet mother of Karen and Philip, died peacefully on March 27th, 2024, with her children by her side.

Ruth was born in Corpus Christi on January 10th, 1932 to Reverend Clarence L. and Meta Bohls.  Her brother Carl was born ten years later, and Ruth was his ‘second mom.’  In 1945 the Bohls family moved to Austin where Pastor Bohls started his second congregation, St. John’s Lutheran Church, and where Ruth graduated from Austin High School.  

Ruth met her husband, Rudy Kelling, in Pullman Washington at a Luther League retreat.  When they returned to Texas Lutheran College where both were students, they began dating.  Both sang in the college choir.  Upon Ruth’s graduation in 1953, she and Rudy married on June 14th.  They lived in Dubuque, Iowa where Rudy was completing seminary studies.

As a pastor’s wife, Ruth helped serve his congregations in Mission, Pasadena and Temple, Texas.   In 1980, they moved to Brenham, where Rudy had grown up, and he served congregations in Wiedeville, Sandy Hill and Zionsville, always with Ruth by his side.

Ruth taught ESL in Brenham public schools, and after her retirement, she welcomed appreciative students to her home for free tutoring.   During her last 15 years, Ruth lovingly cared for her mother, Meta, in their home, and following Meta’s death, cared for Rudy in his final years.

Ruth’s motto was “Blessed to be a Blessing.”    She carried that theme into all of her church and philanthropic work and everyone she touched was blessed.

Ruth is survived by her daughter Karen Cambern, Karen’s son Jason Webb, his wife Christi and their daughter Sophia; Karen’s daughter Megan Cambern and partner Antone. Her son-in-law Dwain Cambern predeceased Ruth.  

Ruth is also survived by her son Philip Kelling and his husband Luigi De Santis.

Carl Bohls, brother to Ruth, survives her, with his wife Linda; his son Chalmer /Chip Bohls and wife Anita; his daughter Julie McLoy, her husband Lee and their children Ainsley and Conner.  Carl’s first wife, dear Aunt Vancie predeceased Ruth.

Ruth has one remaining Kelling brother-in-law, Clarence Hodde, and his wife Diana, predeceased by 7 Kelling siblings and spouses.

Also, Ruth was one of 25 Bohls first cousins, some of whom survive her.

She also has one surviving cousin, Carlene Grobe.

We are all blessed to have known Ruth Kelling.

Visitation is on Thursday, April 4th from 5-7 at Memorial Oaks Funeral Home in Brenham.  A funeral will be held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Brenham on Friday April 5th at 11 AM, followed by a graveside service at Prairie Lea Cemetery.  Please join us after for a luncheon at St. Paul’s, 305 W 3rd St., Brenham. 

Pallbearers are Jason Webb, Chip Bohls, Michael Kelling, Larry Schulze, Ron Kelling and Don Hodde.

In lieu of flowers, Ruth requested that donations be made to Lutheran Social Services of the South, contact Philip Kelling at for instructions or donate to a charity of your choice.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ruth Kelling, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, April 4, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, April 5, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church

305 W Third St, Brenham, TX 77833

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Friday, April 5, 2024

12:15 - 1:15 pm (Central time)

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