April 4, 2008
1:00 P.M. Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Garden Chapel Funeral Home
4:00 - 8:00 P.M. Monday, April 7, 2008
with family present 6:00 - 8:00 P.M.
Garden Chapel Funeral Home
Art Slings Memorial
September 24, 1949 - March 27, 2008
Ruth Van Donselaar was born on September 24, 1949 at Mercy Hospital in Oskaloosa, Iowa. She was born with Down's Syndrome, and was the second of seven children born to Carl & Hendrika (De Jong) Van Donselaar.
On November 6, 1949 Ruth was baptized as an infant at Leighton Christian Reformed Church in Leighton, Iowa by Reverend Vander Klay. In 1950, at the age of nine months, Ruth was taken to Glenwood State Hospital School in Glenwood, Iowa, where she lived during each school year for nine years. Ruth came home to be with her family every summer.
In 1960, when Ruth was ten years old, she returned to her parent's farm home near Leighton and continued to live with them during the next fifteen years. Ruth was lovingly and patiently cared for by her mother and family. Ruth enjoyed playing with young children, with her dolls, or any small kitten or puppy. Ruth also enjoyed listening to music and playing with toys. Her favorite songs became "Jesus Loves Me", "The B-I-B-L-E", and "Heavenly Sunshine." Starting in 1975, while living at home, Ruth rode the bus to Christian Opportunity Center in Pella three days a week to attend school for children with special needs.
In 1985, at the age of thirty-six, Ruth became a resident at Christian Opportunity Center. There Ruth became acquainted with the other residents and staff. She participated in the COC workshop program as long as she was able. Ruth's mother faithfully took Ruth home each weekend for nineteen years.
After her mother's death in 2004, Ruth's siblings continued the tradition of caring for Ruth in their individual homes on Sundays so Ruth could enjoy extended family and play with her nieces and nephews.
Ruth suffered a stroke on Tuesday, March 25, 2008. She passed away two days later on Thursday, March 27, 2008 at the age of fifty-eight years, six months, and three days.
Ruth was preceded in death by: her mother, Hendrika Van Donselaar, on October 4, 2004; her maternal grandparents, Frans and Wouterina De Jong of Oskaloosa; and her paternal grandparents, John D. and Nellie Van Donselaar of Pella.
Those left to cherish her memory are: her father, Carl Van Donselaar of Pella; six siblings and their spouses: John & Doris Van Donselaar of Pella, Norma and Bob De Vries of Monroe, Wilma and Larry Van Der Hart of Monroe, Marie and Jerry Vander Wert of Pella, James and Sheila Van Donselaar of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Janice and Larry De Zwarte of Knoxville. Ruth is also survived by twenty-seven nieces and nephews, and twenty great nieces and nephews.
Ruth's family would like to sincerely thank extended family, neighbors, friends, church members, and the Christian Opportunity Center staff for their support and patient care during the fifty-eight years of Ruth's life.