Founder of Wannemaker’s Home and Garden

Ruth H. Wannemaker, 90, of Downers Grove passed away peacefully on February 6th, 2016 at the age of 90. Ruth, beloved wife of the late William Wannemaker (2005), is survived by children Lyn (Bill) Wilson, Bob (Joyce) Wannemaker, Kay (Jamie) Yeretsky, Jim (Jane) Wannemaker; “Queen” to 11 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren and dear sister of Edward Gee.

Ruth H. WannemakerRuth’s family built deep roots in the south/western suburbs of Chicago in the 1930’s when her father Edward (Teddy) Gee and his brothers opened Gee Lumber and Coal Company. In 1958 Teddy partnered with family members including his son in law, Ruth’s husband William, to open EG Home Centers in Carol Stream, Downers Grove and Sandwich. Ruth and William ultimately set out on their own in 1967 to found Wannemaker’s Home & Garden located in Downers Grove. Ruth was vital in the early stages of development helping run the crafts and floral shop as the business began to flourish. Wannemaker’s remains a staple in the Downers Grove community today as it celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Ruth was an active member of the local community and enjoyed spending much of her time at Naperville Country Club, which she and William joined in 1974. Ruth was devoted to the 18-hole ladies golf league and was a regular with the bridge group for many years. Ruth and Bill were also members at Bear’s Paw Country Club in Naples, Florida. The two would escape the Chicago winters for the Floridian sunshine to spend time with friends and enjoy more golf friendly temperatures.

Ruth’s most cherished family memories were created at her and Bill’s cottages on Big Portage Lake in the north woods of Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin. It was here that Ruth and Bill retreated to enjoy quality family time to watch their children and grandchildren grow-up. Ruth spent countless hours creating photo albums and scrapbooks of her family while at the lake and the family will cherish and continue to add to them to always remember her passion for family.

Services have been held.

Wannemaker’s Home and Garden, Growing Family Traditions for 50 Years

Wannemaker’s Home and Garden is celebrating 50 years of growing family traditions. Founded in 1967 by the late William & Ruth Wannemaker, today the business is run by the third-generation of Wannemaker’s, and continues to embrace the store’s history and tradition of great selection and service.

At Wannemaker’s Home and Garden you can find everything you need for outdoor living, from nursery and greenhouse to lawn and garden, patio sets, grills and grilling accessories, ponds and water gardening supplies, and more. In addition, Wannemaker’s has a wide selection of bathroom and vanity products, specialty gifts and décor items. 

Wannemaker’s Home and Garden is located at 1940 Ogden Avenue in Downers Grove. For more information, including store hours, visit