Ruth Wilkes

Ruth Wilkes of Hinsdale passed away Jan. 10, 2024, after facing lung cancer with admirable strength.

Born in Benton Harbor, Mich., as one of 12 siblings, she led a life filled with diverse achievements and adventures. Her journey began with being crowned Miss Photoflash, leading to a Hollywood stint and a successful modeling career, gracing numerous ads and commercials. She was beautiful inside and out. Embracing marriage and motherhood, she also loved traveling, exploring the world, and engaging in diverse cultures. Ruth enjoyed volunteer work, including cooking and delivering Meals on Wheels. As a lifelong learner, Ruth's curiosity led her to study a range of fields, from health to technology. In her final years, she even took club dancing classes and auditioned and booked three commercials. The children's book she wrote, "Dancing Fruit Put on a Show," won the Dragon Fly Award for Children's Book Excellence.

A devout Catholic, Ruth found strength in her faith and in Bible studies, maintaining robust health and mental sharpness till the end. Her resilience, especially after a late-life fall, demonstrated her extraordinary strength, discipline and spirit. Ruth's unique blend of style, elegance and grace made her truly one of a kind. Her enduring spirit continues to inspire all who knew her, a testament to a life well-lived.

She is survived by Elaine Wilkes, Connie and Keith Bishaf, Kate and Gabrielle Eugene, Janie Wojdula and Diane, Eli and Ali Longbottom.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made online to Northern Illinois Food Bank at or St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church at