Ruth (Tucker) Dykstra was born March 18, 1930, to James and Blanche Tucker in Hamilton, IA. She had one brother, Barry, and a sister Jane. She attended Hamilton schools for the first 6 years and then the family moved to a farm near the Liberty church where she attended Bussey schools until she graduated High School in 1947. Pursuing a degree in education, Ruth attended Simpson college until 1948. Her father was the president of the Bussey school board and postponed her studies so she could begin teaching at the age of 19.
She later completed 2 years at Simpson College and 2 years at Drake University to earn her Elementary Education degree. After 8 years with the Bussey school district, she transferred to Knoxville to teach 6th grade for 34 years which totaled 42 years in her teaching career.
She retired in 1990 after a long-distinguished career in education.
She continued to share brain teasers with her friends and family throughout her retired years and always brought a smile to their faces.
Ruth met her husband Marion of 70 years in 1949 when a new family moved into the neighborhood and bought a nearby farm. This family had 3 bachelor sons. Friends of Ruth’s family coordinated and chaperoned the first date between Marion and Ruth.
They dated for around a year and married at the Bussey United Methodist Church on June 16, 1951. They had a short honeymoon to Ozark, Missouri because Marion needed to return to work on the farm. They spent their first few years raising livestock and farming the land. They enjoyed participating in neighborhood pitch card clubs.
In 1970, tragedy struck Ruth’s life when she lost her mother, brother, and sister-in-law. It was then she and Marion decided to adopt two children after 19 years of marriage.
In December 1970, they adopted Todd (5) and Tonya (3) from Seoul, Korea, and met them in Chicago, IL.
Ruth loved the outdoors. In 1988, Ruth attended a workshop where she learned about bluebirds and how to make bluebird houses. She placed over 120 bluebird houses around the Bussey area and has fledged thousands of bluebirds in Iowa.
She is known as the “Bluebird Lady” and has asked to lecture on several occasions.
Ruth and Marion attended the Bussey Methodist church and then later joined the Knoxville Methodist church. Ruth was known as the “Hat Lady” and enjoyed wearing her hats to Church on Sundays.
She had a love for making flower arrangements and you could enjoy her many unique arrangements every Sunday. She generously donated to various charities and friends in the community.
Ruth belonged to many organizations including Marion County Retired School Teachers, Kappa Kappa Iota, Eastern Star, Twin Cedars School Board, Bridge, Canasta, and Pitch Clubs.
She and Marion remained active in their retirement years by traveling to many countries with the Iowa State Bank Tour group.
Ruth remained active and lived life to the fullest. She is survived by her children Todd (Cindy) Dykstra and Tonya (Dan) Ensor, a sister Jane (Charles) Havener, brother-in-law Vernon Dykstra and grandchildren, Jacob Ensor, Samantha (Logan) Nichol, Zach Dykstra, Madison Dykstra; and great-grandson, Henry Nicol.; also several cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Ruth is proceeded in death by her husband, Marion Dykstra, brother Barry Tucker, parents Jim and Blanche Tucker, and many other family members.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Ruth’s name to Suncrest Home Health and Hospice.
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