Ruth Bleeker, 87, of Steamboat Rock, passed away on Sunday, November 3rd at the Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames. Visitation will be held on Wednesday November 6th from 4-7 PM at Abels Funeral & Cremation Service-Creps Chapel in Eldora and from 9:30-10:15 AM on Thursday November 7th at Steamboat Rock Baptist Church. A funeral service will be held at 10:30 AM on Thursday November 7th at the church with Pastor Harrison Lippert officiating. Burial will follow at the Steamboat Rock Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please direct memorials to the family for donation to the Steamboat Rock Baptist Church and the Steamboat Rock Fire & Rescue Squad. Messages of condolence may be left for the family at www.abelsfuneralhomes.com
Ruth was born on October 10, 1932 in rural Hardin County to her parents Thomas & Kate (Folkerts) Kruse. She spent her whole life in Steamboat Rock. While she was a good student, Ruth also had a claim to fame as a member of the Steamboat Rock High School girls’ basketball team. She helped lead the team to the state tournament in 1951, and at the end of the tournament was awarded the Amsberry Award. After graduating from high school, Ruth attended the Deaconess Hospital of Nursing in Marshalltown (present day UnityPoint Health) and became a registered nurse. On June 6, 1953, Ruth married Darrell Edward Bleeker at the East Friesland Church in Ackley, IA and spent the next 49 years in a long and happy marriage.
Ruth also had a very strong artistic spirit. She enjoyed painting as well as decorating eggs. She also liked to use her talents to restore antique dolls and also was known to make greeting cards and collect vintage greeting cards. Ruth also had a fondness for birds. Nearly every time she saw a bird, she didn’t hesitate to name it and often felt that birds were a special part of the beauty of God’s creation. In fact, Ruth would often say that her favorite music was listening to the birds sing.
Ruth was a lifelong member of the Steamboat Rock Baptist Church and was a member of the church’s Dorcas Society as well as the Christian Women’s Organization. She was also involved in the Progress Club of Steamboat Rock. Ruth’s Christian lifestyle was evident to those who knew her as she was a caregiver both inside and outside of her home. She also kept up on the status of her relatives and was never too busy to take someone who couldn’t drive on a trip to the store or doctor’s office. She was an inspiring and faith filled woman who will be missed by all who knew and loved her.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; husband Darrell; sister Irene Espe; and brothers Ronald, Donald, Ernest, Tom and Arnold Kruse. She is survived by her children Darla (Randy) Oelmann; Denise (Michael) Harder, Doug (Mona) Bleeker; Dan (Lynne) Bleeker; her sister Shirley Meester; sisters in law Eileen and Beulah Kruse; 8 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews
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