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Ruth Boeskool

Obituary for Ruth Boeskool

April 9, 1927 - January 7, 2020
Holland, Michigan | Age 92


Ruth A. Boeskool, age 92, of Holland, passed away on Tuesday, January 7, 2020.

Ruth was born in Chicago on April 9, 1927. Her ability to pick up stakes, start again and make the best of a tough situation had its roots in her moving to California as a young girl during the depression years. There she married her first husband, lovingly raised her son David and went to college.

After a time working in Connecticut, she moved to Northern Virginia where she completed her masters in Education. Her natural curiosity and enthusiasm fueled her teaching, while her knack for making the ordinary special, and her natural propensity to cherish the uniqueness of others, made her an effective and much-loved teacher.

Ruth's longing for more family was more than met when she married Irvin Boeskool in 1982, and she embraced his many sisters, four daughters and their children. She provided his daughters with a loving mother in their adult years, and took on the role of grandmother with verve, sharing her penchant for fun and conspiratorial adventure with memorable meals out, unique road trips and shopping sprees.

A true giver, Ruth made many feel special with a gift well-chosen from her myriad of catalogues, and family members with exquisite individual quilts from her own hand. More than these, her gift of listening told others they were worthy of attention, and the gift of her smile that she expected good things of them, and of life itself. These innate qualities of hers were sustained by her ever-growing faith in God's love and care for her.

After retirement, Ruth returned to the Midwest with Irv, reveling in the almost monastic quiet and ever-changing beauty of Brooks Lake through the seasons, and caring as always for her many plants.

In 2008 she once again pulled up stakes, going to Freedom Village in Holland where she cared for Irv until his death, finding a capacity in herself for an even deeper love. At Freedom Village she again found in the residents and staff a new family to embrace, and they embraced her with a love that sustained her in her last trials.

Ruth was preceded in death by her husband, Irvin Boeskool; daughter, Susan Lilly; great-grandson, Justin Nelson; and sister, Carol Baughman.

She is survived by her son, David (Cherie) Lilly; and daughters of the heart, Dr. Kay (Dr. Jim) Havenga, Jane (John) Ohashi, Jill (Greg) Hemingway, Gwynne (Peter) van Zonneveld; grandchildren: Michael (Melissa) Nelson, Katie (Eric) Schauberger, John (Lori) Havenga, Laura Havenga, Anne Havenga, Jared Ohashi, Jax Ohashi, Whitney Hemingway, Lara Hemingway, Jordan (Hillary) Hemingway; 8 great grandchildren; Jared, Daniel, Micah, Gideon, Ezra, Andrew, Benjamin, and Caleb.

A Celebration of Life is scheduled for 10:00 am on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at Freedom Village, 145 Columbia Ave., Holland, MI 49423 in the auditorium with the Rev. Ryan Winningham officiating. A time of visitation with the family is scheduled for 9:00 am that same day just prior to the service. Burial to take place at Maple Grove Cemetery in Fremont, MI. Memorial contributions may be made in Ruth's honor to The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area (The Freedom Village Scholarship Fund) or Redeemer Lutheran Church, 68O Main Street, Fremont, MI. 49412
The family is being served by Langeland-Sterenberg Funeral Home. To leave a condolence and more information, please visit

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Langeland-Sterenberg Funeral Home

315 E 16th St
Holland, MI 49423
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