EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Ruth M. Siems, a home economist who helped create Stove Top stuffing, a Thanksgiving favorite that will be on dinner tables across the country this year, has died at 74.
Siems, who worked for General Foods for more than 30 years, died Nov. 13 in Newburgh, Ind., after suffering a heart attack in her home.
Siems helped develop Stove Top in 1971 while working at General Foods’ technical center in White Plains, N.Y. She was listed first among four inventors when the patent was awarded in 1975 for the quick and easy way of making stuffing without actually stuffing a turkey.
Kraft Foods, which now owns the Stove Top brand, sells about 60 million boxes each year around Thanksgiving. The five-minute stuffing comes in several flavors, including turkey, chicken and beef.
As a member of the research and development staff for General Foods, Siems helped find the ideal bread crumb size for making instant stuffing with the same texture as the real thing, said her brother, David Siems.
Siems grew up in Evansville and graduated from Purdue University in 1953 with a home economics degree. She later took a job at a General Foods plant in Indiana, researching flour and angel food cake mixes.
She retired in 1985 and settled in a historic house in Newburgh, near Evansville.