Ruth Earley McCabe
Ruth Earley McCabe died peacefully at Regions Hospital on August 24 following a brief illness. She was 90 years old.
Ruth will be remembered as a presence in her home town of New Richmond, most notably as the owner of McCabes Shamrock Club. After her husband, Chris, died suddenly in 1971, Ruth assumed the business at age 47. She was a friend of the customers with her dynamic personality, mentor to many and a serious CEO. Chris purchased the Shamrock in 1946, a year before their marriage, and in 1960, a new Shamrock bar and liquor store were built on West Third.
Prior to taking over the bar, Ruth worked at New Richmond Clinic from 1942 until 1965. She was a receptionist, insurance girl and a jack-of-all-trades. This was the original New Richmond Clinic operated by Dr. Joshua Armstrong, John Gordon, Douglas Campbell, and then James L. Craig and Louis Weisbrod.
Athletic and a sports fan, Ruth played womens softball, loved golf and bowled and sponsored teams for 30+ years, first beginning at the 4 bowling lanes at the original Shamrock. She and Chris also promoted baseball teams at Citizens Field where Bud Grant and"lefty" Johnson took baseball to a grand place, often showering at the bar post-game.
For several decades on Saturday night, Ruth and Chris joined friends and other Main Street business owners at the Rivers Edge. They dined and danced there as their"getaway" on a weekend.
Her faith was her core. She relied on God to help her through her many travels. She was so grateful and relieved when He worked his magic. She became unable to attend Mass several years ago but she watched "Vatican TV" for hours on Sundays.
Ruth was a special grandmother to her two grandchildren. She was always there for them and used her energy to keep them with her often, taking them out to eat, and proving to be a good listener as well as teacher.
Ruth and Chris were life-long Democrats. Chris was St. Croix County chairman for many years and in the 1960s Senator Gaylord Nelson and Governor John Reynolds became good friends of theirs. JFK sent an invitation to his Inaugural Ball and Mother was thrilled when she, Chris and Mari got a chance to have lunch in Menomonie with JFK and some supporters and Kennedy spent time talking at each table.
New Richmonds St. Patricks Day Parade was innovated by Ruth. In 1977, the parade was a walk around the block from the Shamrock. Now it has turned to be the largest celebration in the city. She made all the connections to participants and was so proud that could gather so many hundreds of folks to a parade that continues to grow each year. Her two trips to Ireland only enhanced her Irishness.
Ruth was preceded in death by husband, Chris, her father and mother, Elmer and Mabel Earley; siblings Helen (Martin) Germain, Miles, Lucille, Patrick and Kevin.
She will be forever missed by her daughter, Mari (Bill) Driscoll; grandchildren, Chris and Devon Driscoll; great-grandson, Malachy Driscoll; sisters, Shirley (Howard) Leverty and Margaret (Dwight) Anderson; and several nieces and nephews.
Her Funeral Mass will take place on Thursday, August 28, at 5 p.m. at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in New Richmond. Her wake will be at the church from 2-5 p.m. prior to the funeral Mass.