Ruth D. Carlson Vanderzyl, the daughter of Gustaf and Mary Larson Carlson was born on October 4, 1918. She was the youngest of six children. Ruth’s early years were spent in the Monroe County coal mining town of Buxton, Iowa. Ruth’s father had immigrated from Sweden to work in the mines at Buxton and she was proud of her Swedish roots. At an early age she learned to speak Swedish, a skill she maintained through adulthood. Widowed at an early age, her mother moved the family to Oskaloosa, Iowa where Ruth graduated from high school with the class of 1936.
On Christmas of 1940, Ruth was united in marriage to S. Herbert Vanderzyl, of Pella at the United Methodist Church in Oskaloosa. They settled in Newton, Iowa where together they operated the Newton Coal Company. Ruth worked in the company office until early 1945 when their first son was born. From then on Ruth became a homemaker, working to raise their three boys, Lance, Ralph and Tom. Ruth’s family would tell you she was a wonderful cook.
A positive person all her life, her family found her extremely wise. Ruth enjoyed the outdoors, whether it was walking, riding a bike, golfing or playing tennis. After moving to Park Centre she became a common sight, walking the sidewalks around the downtown. Ruth also loved playing Bridge, as well as helping others learn the game.
Ruth passed away peacefully on Monday, February 12, 2018 while in skilled care at Park Centre in Newton. She was 99. Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Herb in 2006; son, Ralph in 2008; and five siblings.
Those left to cherish Ruth’s memory are her sons, Lance (Gloria) Vanderzyl of Yuma, Arizona and Tom Vanderzyl of Knoxville, Iowa; grandchildren, Janessa (Matt) Thelander in Yuma, Jared (Cinthia) Vanderzyl of Clovis, Californina and Jeremy (Jennifer) Vanderzyl of Tempe, Arizona; and her seven great-grandchildren.
The family would like to extend their thanks to the many friends who helped her continue to play her beloved Bridge even after her eyesight began failing. They would also like to thank Dr. Edwards, and all the members of the Skilled Care Unit at Park Centre for the care shown her while she was there.
As per Ruth’s wishes she has been cremated. A private family inurnment will be held at a later date.
Memorials to the Jasper County Historical Society or to the Skiff Hospital Auxiliary may be left at the Wallace Family Funeral Home & Crematory in Newton. Memorials may also be mailed to the funeral home, please add, Attn: Vanderzyl Family on the envelope.