Jessie Mae Ruple (McElheny)

Jessie Mae Ruple, 97, of Dowagiac, passed away on Sunday, October 25, 2020. A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 11 AM at Clark Chapel, 405 Center St., Dowagiac with Chaplin Allison Brace officiating. Burial will follow at Mission Hills Memorial Gardens. Friends may visit with the family from 10 AM until the time of the service at the funeral home. Out of respect for the family and guests in attendance masks and proper social distancing will be required. Memorial contributions may be made to Caring Circle Hospice, 4025 Health Park Lane, St. Joseph, MI, 49085. Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at 

Jessie was born on August, 28, 1923, to Francis & Etoile (Holder) McElheny in Rensselaer, IN. On January, 29, 1949, she married the love of her life, Eldon “Rupe” Ruple. The were happily married for 37 years before his passing in 1986. Jessie and Eldon had a number of restaurants they owned together where Jessie would be the head cook. Their first restaurant was Rupe & Fitz, then R & J Hideout and finally Bishops, located in Sister Lakes. After retiring from the restaurant industry, Jessie worked as the Demo Lady at the former Felpausch Grocery Store. She was an avid member of Dowagiac’s First United Methodist Church, where she would help with dinners and other church activities. Known for her independence and hard work, Jessie was proudly tending to her own yard work until she was 94 years old. She also enjoyed sewing, making tree skirts & dolls, crafting and doing puzzles into her later years too. However, what Jessie loved the most in life was spending time with her family. She loved to host the family events and holiday gatherings at her house. Her kind heart, feisty spirit and wonderful humor will be missed truly by all who knew her. The family would like a special thanks to go to Lisa Malloy and the fantastic team of Caring Circle Hospice. 

Jessie is survived by her children, Carol (Gary) Bronson of Tyler, TX, Terri Kennedy of Mishawaka, IN, and Cynthia (Donald) Checkley of Dowagiac; Grandchildren, Tristan (Joel) Preston, Megan (Andy) Lehman, Shawn (Tiffany) McLaughlin, Jared Bronson, Kyle Kennedy, and Karly (Alex) Welch; great-grandchildren, Alainna & Mayson Preston, Emma & Maya McLaughlin, and Brody Welch; and brother, Robert (Thelma) McElheny.

Jessie was preceded in death by her parents, Francis & Etoile; husband, Eldon; and siblings, Hugh & John McElheny, and Thelma McConnell.

Posted On: Tuesday, October 27, 2020 11:41 AM

Source: WSJM
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