Monday, October 24, 2016
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
120 South Woodhams Street
Plainwell, MI 49080
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Well known in her community and well loved by her family, Ruth Doezema will be forever remembered as a quiet, but witty and talented woman. She experienced much throughout her 87 years, traveling and trying new experiences. But more importantly, she will be remembered as a mother and friend.
By 1929, the days of the flapper and the infamous Roaring Twenties gave way to hard economic times from coast to coast. The Great Depression was officially launched in a country that had previously seen so much growth and prosperity. In the midst of this turmoil, the lives of James and Edna (Portele) DeYoung were forever changed when on September 20, 1929 they welcomed the birth of their little girl, Ruth.
Raised in Wayland, Michigan where young Ruth and her family made their home, her father worked as a mail carrier while her mother remained at home as a homemaker. Ruth and her old sister, Evelyn, attend area schools. The struggles of Ruth’s generation and growing up through the Great Depression taught valuable lessons that remained a part of who they were, and Ruth was no exception. From a young age, she learned the value of a dollar and developed a strong work ethic.
Despite the troubling times, Ruth also experienced a childhood typical of her generation. In school, Ruth was a member of the choir and excelled in the Glee Club, leading to a life-long love of singing and music. She played clarinet in her school band before graduating from Wayland High School in 1946. After graduating, she worked for a short time in a local factory before meeting a young man named Leon Doezema. Ruth and Leon accompanied her parents on a cross country trip in 1947, traveling on historic Route 66 to California.
Ruth and Leon were married in 1948 and before long they started a family of their own. Blessed with seven daughters, Dawn, Diane, Deborah, Denise, Desiree, Doreen and Darcy in just the first 10 years added much excitement to their home. Leon was a dairy farmer by trade and the two operated a small dairy farm in Martin Township. It was not unusual to see Ruth operating a tractor and other equipment, when she was not tending to the children.
Ruth made a good home for Leon and their girls. She knew how to make a little go a long way and she used her sewing skills to make many of the girls’ clothing. She taught most of the girls how to sew, although a few resisted the craft. Ruth made the girls matching dresses and had them sing together in church. The family enjoyed camping trips and cabins on Gun Lake and also made a trip to picturesque Tahquamenon Falls in the Upper Peninsula. An inexpensive treat at the time for the large family was going out for ice cream and family picnics.
Ruth was as talented in the kitchen as she was at the sewing machine. She loved to gather family members around her table for delicious meals, often topped off with scrumptious cherry pie. Home baked bread and cookies were often on hand for all to enjoy. Her knowledge in the kitchen served her well while working at Boysen’s Grocery Store. Many of her customers often asked for tips and advice on cooking and selecting meat. As her daughters began having lives and families of their own, Ruth’s husband Leon sadly passed away in 1975.
Life for Ruth then took a new turn when she met her longtime companion, Verl Scott. Although they never married, the 42 years she and Verl spent together created lasting memories for Ruth. Ruth and Verl traveled together to Arizona and Oklahoma, as well as other states out west. Always up for a new experience, they took a motorcycle trip to the U.P. In later years, Ruth and Verl loved to drive around the countryside visiting yard sales.
Ruth was an avid gardener. She always had a bountiful vegetable garden and her house was surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers. She also loved birds and would sit outside or at her window identifying the birds that visited the bird feeders. She built birdhouses as well. But for a really good time, Ruth loved to play cards, especially euchre. She also enjoyed playing dominos with family on Saturday nights.
Ruth enjoyed all kinds of music, especially soft jazz and big band music. She and Verl enjoyed Blue Grass music and attended festivals. Throughout the years, she traveled often with her daughters, visiting Hawaii, Tennessee, Illinois, and even Spain. Ruth was a fun-loving woman and liked meeting new people. She possessed a clever and dry wit which will never be forgotten. Deeply missed, Ruth leaves much to be remembered in the hearts of many.
Ruth Doezema, age 87, of Martin, passed away on October 16, 2016, at her home. Visit with her family and friends on Monday, October 24 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Life Story Funeral Home; 120 S. Woodhams St. Plainwell. A memorial service will follow at 4:00 at the same location. Her family includes her partner of 42 years, Verl Scott; her daughters: Dawn (Gary) Henningson, Diane (Howard) Conley, Deborah Noteboom, Desiree Doezema, Doreen (Mark) Gilson, and Darcy (Scott Kuykendall) Doezema. Ruth has 15 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren as well as several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Leon; her sister, Evelyn Thomas; daughter, Denise Westfall; son-in-law, Edwin Noteboom; and grandson, Konrad Whitt. Please visit Ruth’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo of Ruth and sign her memory book online. Memorial donations can be made to Wings of Hope Hospice.