Long-time River Campus board member, Cape Girardeau BBQ contest founder dies at 95

Ruth Rueseler Knote passed away March 27, 2023 at the age of 95.
Ruth Rueseler Knote passed away March 27, 2023 at the age of 95.(Courtesy of family)
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 12:40 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A long-time River Campus board member and co-founder of the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce’s BBQ contest has passed away.

Ruth Rueseler Knote passed away Monday, March 27 at the age of 95.

Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 29 at Ford and Sons Mt. Auburn Chapel in Cape Girardeau.

The funeral service will at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 30 at First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Ellen Gurnon officiating.

In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the Southeast Missouri State University River Campus or First Presbyterian Church.

When the River Campus project began, Ruth was appointed to the board of directors by the city. She served for 16 years on the board, and 10 of them as president, which was her biggest achievement.

Ruth was awarded the Woman of Achievement Award for Volunteers for her involvement with the River Campus symphony and Girl Scouts.

Ruth and her husband, Charlie Knote, became interested in BBQ and went to the BBQ school to become judges.

She judged at both the American Royal BBQ and the Memphis in May BBQ contests. At Memphis, she judged the world championship meat for three years.

From this experience, Ruth and Charlie wrote a cookbook, Barbequing and Sausage Making Secrets, which has sold more than 15,000 copies.

In 1992, Ruth and Charlie started the Cape Girardeau BBQ contest with the Chamber of Commerce.

You can click here to read her full obituary.