Harriet “Leona” De Ruiter was born February 18, 1920 northeast of Pella, Iowa, to Gerrit and Sarah (Buwalda) Van Gorp. She attended Warren School, rural Pella. She passed away Saturday, December 15, 2012, at Jefferson Place in Pella at the age of ninety-two.
On August 10, 1938, she married Nick De Ruiter. Nick and Leona had four children; Donna Jean, Robert Wayne, Carol Lynn and Dwayne Carl.
Leona spent all her married life in the Pella area. She worked for many years at Pella Overall Factory and later was employed by the Pella Community Hospital.
Leona was a gifted seamstress. All of her married life she did custom sewing, making wedding dresses, coats, prom dresses, and various garments. She had the ability to envision something and turn it into a finished product without a pattern.
A lifetime member of the Pella First Christian Reformed Church, she was a member of the Banner Committee, the quilting group, Pella Christian Mothers Club, Women’s Auxiliary. She was passionate about mission work and was involved in any project that was going to help those who were in need.
Leona loved reading, gardening, baking, nutting, cooking, sewing, as well as many other activities. She was the happiest when she was busy.
She was preceded in death by her husband Nick; her son Bob; son-in-law Milton Gabrielse; grandson James Gabrielse; brothers: Marvin Van Gorp and Freeman Van Gorp; sisters: Lucille Van Kooten, Wilma Monast and Ila Joyce Van Gilst.
Leona is survived by three children: Donna Gabrielse of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Carol and Bill Rauhauser of Denton, Texas, Dwayne and Norma (Vander Werff) De Ruiter of Pella, Iowa; daughter-in-law, Lavonne (De Kock) De Ruiter of Pella; sisters: Ruth (Vernon) Ringenburg of Bloomington, Illinois, Dorothy Vander Pol of Oskaloosa, Iowa; brothers: Verlan (Marilyn) Van Gorp of Leighton and Eugene (Luanna) Van Gorp of Oskaloosa; as well as many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great- grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held Wednesday, December 19, 2012, at the First Christian Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa. Burial took place at the Oakwood Cemetery. Garden Chapel Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.