Ruth Olive TeGrootenhuis (Grandma Ruthie). Submitted photo
Ruth Olive TeGrootenhuis (Grandma Ruthie). Submitted photo

After listening to her favorite polka, Ruth Olive TeGrootenhuis (Grandma Ruthie), age 94, peacefully passed into the arms of Jesus with her daughter, Terry, by her side on July 16, 2018, at Preferred Senior Living in Ellsworth, WI.

Ruth was born in Baldwin on January 2, 1924 to Joe and Mabel VanSomeren. She graduated high school from Baldwin, worked at Bark’s Bakery, VandeBerg Hardware, nine years in Washington D.C., the Woodville Clinic, and Park View Home in Woodville retiring at the age of 85!

She married William ‘Bill’ TeGrootenhuis on January 11, 1947.  They lived in Washington D.C. and Woodville, WI.  After 11 years of marriage, their daughter Terry Lynn was born. Ruth and Terry moved to Baldwin after Bill passed away unexpectedly in 1982.  At the age of 90, she moved into the Baldwin Apartments located in the Baldwin Care Center and then to Preferred Senior Living in Ellsworth which is closer to her daughter.

Ruth was known as the cookie lady throughout the area baking thousands of chocolate chip cookies to give away each week!  She also loved her polkas and would help organize the music for the residents at Park View Home making sure all residents had an opportunity to dance, especially those in wheelchairs as she twirled them around!  Bringing the musicians chocolate chip cookies, bananas, and peppermints were definitely on her agenda. Ruth also belonged to the Woodville American Legion Auxiliary and was an active member in the church she loved, Zion Lutheran.  Most of all, Ruth (Grandma Ruthie) loved spending time with her grandchildren, and her precious great-grandson, Bennett.

Ruth will be deeply missed by her daughter, Terry (Hans) Ostergaard; grandson, Christian Ostergaard; granddaughter, Kami (John) Griffith; and her great-grandson, Bennett.  Ruth is also survived by her three sisters, Shirley (Ron) Stone, Nancy Roach, Mary (Gene) Bonnes; and sisters-in-law, Lois Van Someren, Winnie Van Someren, and Alta Van Someren.  Preceding her in death are her parents, Joe and Mabel Van Someren, beloved Auntie, Pearl Lund; Aunt, Lettie; and Uncle, Everett Hanson; seven brothers and one sister including, Lyle, Leslie, Robert, Ken, Joe Jr., Lloyd (Shirley), Ronnie, and Pauline (Dale) Holle.  Ruth was blessed to have many cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and brother and sister-in-laws on both the Van Someren and TeGrootenhuis families.

Ruth always put others before herself and will be remembered for her love for Jesus, showing grandchildren pictures, polka dancing and peppermints, stuffed animals, especially bears, rhyming skills, cookie baking, Park View activities, calling Bingo, cultivating corn, spelling expertise, Walmart shopping trips, Golden Nugget bars, sprinting skills, enthusiasm, wearing her “Church Shirt” and genuine empathy for others. She truly loved everyone at Preferred Senior Living and her wonderful Hospice caregivers as she continued to build many long-lasting relationships.

As Ruthie would say…..”God Bless You, and I’ll say a BIG prayer for you tonight!”  

Visitation for Ruth will be held from 3-5PM on Sunday, July 22, 2018 at Zion Lutheran Church, 221 Lockwood St., Woodville, WI. Funeral Service will be held at 11AM on Monday, July 23, at Zion Lutheran Church with Pastor Keith Anderson officiating. Interment will take place in Sunset Memorial Cemetery in Woodville, WI. Services entrusted to the O’Connell Family Funeral Home of Baldwin, WI.