Cover photo for Joanne Ruis's Obituary
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1931 Joanne 2020

Joanne Ruis

January 21, 1931 — December 25, 2020

Joanne (DeBoer) Ruis went to Heaven on Christmas Day, December 25, 2020.  

Joanne was born to Jacob and Suzanne DeBoer on January 21,1931 in Chicago, IL. As a child, she and her family moved to the Milaca area. Joanne was a faithful member of the Pease Christian Reformed Church. She loved her church and the people she worshiped with.

Joanne was married to Marion (Matt) Ruis on July 15,1948. She and Matt farmed near Pease for years. Seven children blessed their marriage and to Joanne her family was her first priority. Joanne loved spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

She loved helping others. She lovingly cared for her sister Delores and aunts as they aged. She was an excellent gardener as well and took pride in her gardens. She was well known for her lemon meringue pies, homemade dinner rolls, and brown bread.  Her freezer was full of bars in case someone stopped in for coffee. She and Matt loved bowling, golfing, and card playing with their friends.

Joanne and Matt moved to the Mille Lacs Lake area in 1978. They loved living on the lake and fished year around.  Joanne had her first job outside the home when she worked in a restaurant in Garrison. She was always so proud of her big tips and being an excellent waitress. When they moved back to Milaca, Joanne worked at the Milaca Golf Course for years. 

Joanne and Matt lived at Country Meadows for a few years, in Brainerd for a year and, after Matt’s death, Joanne resided in an assisted living facility in Grand Rapids, MI for the past 3 ½ years. The staff at Vista Springs fell in love with her fun personality and learned quickly that she was feisty and fun.

Joanne will be greatly missed for her fun-loving personality, she loved to mess around with her kids and grandkids. Her caregiving heart set a great example for all of us.  Her faith was strong and her love for Jesus evident in what she did, her Bible was often found open when we would come to visit her. 

Joanne is survived by her children, Bruce (Barb) Ruis of Denver, CO, Gerry (Karen) Ruis of Grand Rapids, MI, Mary (Jim) Donaldson of Greer, SC, Ken (RoseAnne) Ruis of Boynton Beach, FL, Sue (Rick) Findell of Denver, CO, Dave (Marvel) Ruis of Pine City, MN, Don (Deb) Ruis of Pillager, MN; 36 grandchildren, 42 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren as well as her sister, Kathy Royce, brother, David DeBoer, a brother in-law, a sister in-law, many nieces, nephews, and friends. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, Matt Ruis, parents, Jacob and Suzanne DeBoer, brother, Jack DeBoer, sisters, Delores Larson and Eleanor VanEck, and one step-grandchild, Aaron Sohl. 

The family will always be grateful for the staff at all the facilities that cared for Mom during the last years of her life. 

Cards can be mailed to Gerry Ruis, 1317 Hall Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506 and will be shared with other siblings. Memorial money will be given to Pease Christian Reformed Church and Community Christian School of Pease. 

Joanne’s ashes will be buried alongside her husband in the Pease Cemetery and a service will be held later in 2021.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joanne Ruis, please visit our flower store.

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