Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Ruth TerVeen

November 26, 1925 - February 24, 2024
Grand Rapids, MI



Friday, May 31, 2024
11:00 AM EDT
New Community Church
2340 Dean Lake Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Faith Hospice
8214 Pfeiffer Farms Dr. SW
Byron Center, MI 49315
(616) 235-5113
Driving Directions
Web Site

Stonebridge Manor
3515 Leonard Street NW
Walker, MI 49534
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 459-3409
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Ruth TerVeen Life Story

As family and friends can surely attest, Ruth TerVeen truly understood the secret to a life well lived. She was a constant source of faith and strength, even in the most difficult of times. Nothing brought Ruth greater joy than surrounding herself with her loved ones. She was a beautiful example of kindness and generosity, and her unshakeable faith formed the foundation of all that she did. Ruth will be deeply missed and forever loved by those who knew her best.

Ruth Postma came into this world during the decade known as the Roaring 20's. America was coming into its own. World War I was over, the veterans had returned home, and the country was full of hope and expectation. In 1925, Leonard Postma, a WWI veteran, and Gertrude (Huttenga) Postma of Grand Rapids, Michigan, were looking forward to the arrival of their second child, and on November 26, 1925, they welcomed their daughter Ruth Gertrude, into the world.

Growing up, Ruth was a typical young girl of her generation in many ways. She was raised in the family home on the Northwest side of Grand Rapids alongside her older brother, Sidney. Because her brother was often hospitalized, much of Ruth’s childhood was spent with extended family. From a young age, she would help out around the house, and she did some babysitting in her free time as well. Ruth grew up attending Broadway Christian Reformed Church, where she built the foundation of the faith that would shape her for her entire life. She began her education at Harrison Park Elementary School and quickly became a social butterfly. Thanks to a generous gift from her aunt, Ruth was able to attend West Side Christian School and then Grand Rapids Christian High School. During her high school years, Ruth was very active in the school’s Girls Club, and she also began working at her grandfather’s business, Postma Biscuit Company.

New and exciting changes were on the horizon for Ruth as she met the young man who would soon become the love of her life. His name was Robert TerVeen, and the two had known each other for most of their lives, as their families were members of Broadway Christian Reformed Church, and they were classmates at West Side Christian School. They also lived within two blocks of each other. Ruth and Bob would often spend time with friends at Richmond Park, swimming in the summer and ice skating in the winter. One day, Bob offered Ruth a ride home on the back of his bike, and the rest was history. They knew very early on that they were destined for each other. Though they wanted to get married before Bob was called to fight in WWII, they decided to wait until he returned home out of respect for their parents, and Ruth and Bob were finally married on October 23, 1946, at Broadway Christian Reformed Church. The newlyweds started their marriage in an apartment on the West Side owned by Bob’s father. Following the birth of their daughter, Bonnie, in 1950, Bob built a home for the family on Union Ave NE. After their son, Bob, and their daughter, Sue, came along, they built a larger family home on Conger NE in 1961. This home would become the anchor for the family for over the next 20 years. Ruth loved this home. It was where the family celebrated birthdays, holidays, graduations, and welcomed their grandchildren.

All who knew Ruth can certainly agree that, of all the things she loved in life, she treasured her family above all else. Over the years, as she and Bob were overjoyed to welcome their three children, Bonnie, Bob, and Sue, into their hearts and home, Ruth thrived in her role as a mother and dedicated herself to caring for her children. She loved establishing household routines and preparing family meals, and although she didn’t know how to cook before getting married, she quickly learned to excel at it. One of Ruth’s baking specialties was a special coffee cake recipe that she inherited from her grandmother, and passed down to her grandchildren. Ruth was a skilled seamstress and would often make clothes for her children, including matching mother-daughter dresses. Ruth took pride in making sure she always looked her best. She was very involved in the lives of Bonnie, Bob, and Sue, and she always placed their needs above their own. Ruth especially enjoyed putting her loving touch on holiday celebrations and family birthdays, and the family is blessed with many joyful memories.

Never one to be idle, Ruth pursued many interests. When the children were young, they began renting a cottage up North each summer. As the children grew, the family began traveling and camping outside of Michigan. In 1968, Ruth and Bob began a family tradition spending summers at Paradise Cove in Sand Lake, Michigan, which became the backdrop of many of Ruth’s favorite memories. In the 1990's, Ruth and Bob bought a motorhome and enjoyed spending winter months in the warmth of Florida, Texas, and Arizona. Ruth was a devoted member of her church, first as a charter member of Riverside Christian Reformed Church, where she sang in the choir and helped out with Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, and later at New Community Church, where she volunteered her time serving at the front reception desk and looking after children during the weekly Community Recovery gatherings. Ruth and Bob were very social and had many longtime friends, and their groups often spent time together each week.

After the children were grown, Ruth and Bob settled into a condo, which Bob put his own touches on as it was being built. Later in life, Ruth was thrilled to become a grandmother, great-grandmother, and even a great-great-grandmother. She adored her grandchildren, doting on them whenever she could, and she enjoyed playing games with them and reading to them. Ruth took every opportunity to babysit for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and she carried on her tradition of making or mending clothes for them well into her later years. She always considered herself blessed to watch her family grow to include so many loved ones.

Ruth's life was a beautiful reflection of her unwavering faith and strength, and her unconditional love for her family. She was well known for her quick and witty sense of humor. She was a devoted mother, grandmother, and wife for many years, a friend to many and beloved by all. Her primary focus in life was living out her faith and forming deep and personal relationships with those around her. Though she will be dearly missed, Ruth leaves behind a priceless legacy of faith and devotion that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her honor.

Ruth G. TerVeen, age 98 of Grand Rapids, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on February 24, 2024. Ruth was preceded in death in 2021 by her devoted husband, Robert; son-in-law Richard Baker; brother, Sidney Postma; brother-in-law and sisters-in-law Gord (Doris) TerVeen; and Gene (Postma) Wychers.

Ruth is survived by her children: Bonnie (Phil) Wessels, Bob (Julie) TerVeen, and Sue (Carl Sr) Palma; grandchildren, Scott (Rhonda) Baker, Stephanie (Tony) Wicksall, Rob (Tonja) TerVeen, Melissa (Chris) Hillary, Lindsay (Scott) Hall, Nate (Ashley) TerVeen, Carl Jr (Lindsey) Palma; great-grandchildren, McKena and Jack TerVeen, Elizabeth, Jenna and Emily Hillary, Tristan and Sidney Hall, Caleb and Lizzie Hall, Kayden, Isabella and Peyton Hall, Braden and Ethan TerVeen, Ashton and Nevaeh Plato, Jarrett Baker (fiancé Abby Sprick), Maddie and Allen Saunders; great-great grandchildren, Oliver Baker, Saige Hall, and Josie Hall; as well as several nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank Faith Hospice for the wonderful, attentive care Ruth received in her final months of life. The family also expresses deep gratitude to the staff at Stonebridge Manor for their loving and faithful care of Ruth during the last three years and in her final months of life.

The service to remember and celebrate Ruth's life will be held on Friday, May 31, 2024 at 11 AM at New Community Church. Friends may visit with her family beginning at 10 AM, and for a time following the service. Interment in Greenwood Cemetery. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Stonebridge Manor or Faith Hospice are appreciated. To read more about Ruth; to share a memory or photo, or to sign her guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com.