Derksen, Ruth

Due to Covid-19, a private memorial will take place with consideration of a public memorial at a later date. Donations may be made in Ruth's memory to the Boundary Trails Health Centre Foundation (designated to Cancer Care) ONLINE VIEWING AT: Come Together (the family asks that family and close friends contact them directly for the username and password)
Ruth Helen Derksen (nee Janzen)
1953 - 2020
We are so sad, our hearts broken, to announce the passing of Ruth Helen Derksen (Janzen), our treasured wife, mom, nana, sister and friend.  Her loss most deeply felt by her husband of 49 years, Jake.
Ruth passed away in the arms of her loved ones at Boundary Trails Health Centre on March 17, 2020 after a courageous battle with cancer.  She was a brave warrior, fighting with optimism and strength to the very end.
Left to cherish her memory are her devoted husband Jake, beloved children, Andrea, Carri (Steve), Michael (Jessica) and precious grandchildren Thomas, Samuel, Aidan, Ellis and Ruthie, sisters Myrna Penner and Marg Kelso (Doug), brothers Bill Janzen (Kathy) and Glen Janzen (Esther), nieces and nephews and extended family.  Ruth will also be remembered by many close friends and her church family.
Ruth was predeceased by her parents William and Evelyn Janzen and in-laws Aron and Annie Derksen.
Ruth was full of life. She was a joyful, generous, funny, thoughtful and loving person who brought much joy to young and old alike.  She cared deeply about her family and friends.  She has always been a source of strength to them.
Ruth was a people-person.  She made friends with whomever she talked to and wherever she went.  She connected with all ages and was loved by so many people.  She was a gifted conversationalist and compassionate listener. She worked at various jobs, always with people, starting as a clerk in her dad’s store, then as a bank teller, driver training teacher, receptionist, health records technician, in addition to countless volunteer hours serving the church on committees, providing leadership and support to staff and the church family.  She loved her church family, and church was very important to her.  Ruth lived her faith in a real way, asking honest questions, loving like Jesus.
Ruth will be remembered for her love of music.  Whether singing in, accompanying, or directing choirs, ensembles and soloists, or attending a concert, Ruth’s immersion in the music community of southern Manitoba has been vast and lifelong. 
Ruth’s love of music reaches back into childhood when she could be found playing piano and violin – at times in the school orchestra or at local festivals – as well as singing in a girls’ choir.  In those days she even had her own portable record player to indulge her enjoyment of pop music! 
As a young mom, Ruth taught piano lessons as well as music classes for young children.  She conducted a community children’s choir, led church and community musicals, and conducted, sang in, and played for church choirs, school choirs and the Homeschool Harmony Choir.  Her love for choral music found further expression as she spent time as a member of the Tapestry Singers, Prairie Singers, and the Faith and Life Women’s Chorus.  It was a blessing to those sitting near her in church to hear her beautiful voice rise above.  Together with Wes Hamm, she was instrumental in the formation of the Winkler Senior Choir and was their valued and loved accompanist for 23 years. Ruth was well-known and sought after as an accompanist.  She was a gifted musician and had an intuitive sense of what was needed in the moment, making her a valuable partner for any conductor or solo performer. 
Her greatest joy was accompanying her grandsons in their performance adventures with cello and violin, contributing to their success at the local and provincial level and instilling in them a love of music. 
Ruth drew together the art of astute, hard-won musicianship, with easy, infectious joy and an irrepressible sense of humour. The combination of these qualities has encouraged countless musicians, young and old, to love the process of music making as well as the music itself.  And for several decades, audiences have been delighted by the results, enjoying the skill, love and joy with which she made music.
Ruth and Jake were together for fifty years, married nearly 49, and enjoyed traveling near and far.  Family road trips, camping, Clear Lake cabins, the Maritimes to celebrate their retirement, a month-long Phoenix trip to “live like seniors” and a European River cruise last June were some of Ruth’s favourites.  Mom and dad are a testament to true love and they provided a wonderful example to us in sustaining a marriage where their love for each other was obvious every single day.
Ruth was the most devoted and loving mom.  Lovingly baked buns and treats would often be waiting after school; the heavenly aromas greeting us as we arrived home.  Her prized raisin buns, paska, cinnamon buns, napoleon and pies were unbeatable.  She was a cheerleader for her kids and an advocate for them.  She invested her energy into Patterning programming for Andrea to help her achieve milestones and develop to her full potential.  Later, she was active in Carri and Mike’s musical pursuits and spent countless hours coaching, driving, and counselling us through the bumpy road of growing up.  We will so miss her wise advice and constant support.  As we became adults, she became a close friend and confidante, the one we ran to with good news and bad.  We will miss her so much.
Ruth fought so hard to stay in order to spend time with her beloved grandchildren.  She was a hands-on nana – eager to change diapers, comb their hair, play games, accompany the boys and attend all their concerts.  She lovingly created personalized quilts and blankets for her kids and grandchildren.  The boys loved talking with her and hearing her stories and her jokes.  The younger grandkids gave her such joy in their regular FaceTime chats.  Her youngest grandchild, Ruthie, bears her name in tribute to the wonderful person she was.
The family wishes to express heartfelt thanks to the BTHC Chemotherapy nurses, who compassionately cared for Ruth for 3.5 years.  Your kindness will not be forgotten. Thank you to Dr. Woelk and Dr. Dhala for your expertise and compassion over these years.  Thank you also to Dr. Hunt, who acted quickly on mom’s symptoms and enabled timely treatment.  Special thanks to Heather Menzies, mom’s nurse on her last day, for empathy and support on the hardest day.  Thank you to all our family and friends for your messages and gestures of love and support, and special thanks to our Pastor Michael and Larissa Pahl for your presence and care through this painful time.
In light of COVID-19, a private family and care group memorial will be held this week.  We hope to hold a public celebration of Ruth’s life at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to Boundary Trails Health Centre Foundation (designated to Cancer Care).


#61 Adeline Peters 2020-03-22 12:18
I was devastated to return home from a trip to hear that our talented and beloved Ruth had passed on to glory. Her absence will be sadly missed by her church family too. My sincere sympathy to the entire family.
#62 Henry & Evelyn Pankratz 2020-03-22 13:32
Heartfelt condolences to our cousin Jake & all his family. We have very fond memories of family get-togethers. Our thoughts & prayers are with you. Heinz & Evelyn Pankratz
#63 Henry & Evelyn Pankratz 2020-03-23 07:51
Heartfelt sympathy to our cousin Jake & all the family. We have very fond memories of family get to togethers. Our thoughts & prayers are with you. Heinz & Evelyn Pankratz
#64 Hank &Carol Klassen 2020-03-23 21:46
To the janzen siblings ... I am filled with sadness at the passing of Ruth .. our parents were friends for years and I remember visiting your house in 13 th st and okaying with Ruth ... wow I had no idea she was ill... when we met she was always happy and friendly ... she will be missed for sure..Our prayers are with Jake and the kids and the entire family. Sincerely , Carol (Epp) Klassen
#65 Harry & Erika Hildebrand 2020-03-25 19:12
To Jake & the kids: I didn't see Ruth often, but when I did we always could dive right into meaningful conversation. I appreciated her sweet smile, positive spirit and big hugs! Our deepest sympathy to you as you feel this huge loss. May God comfort and give you strength to carry on...
#66 Darlene Hunt 2020-03-26 14:39
Shocked and saddened to hear the news. My deepest condolences to her family. The neighborhood won't be the same without her
#67 Anne Teichroeb 2020-04-02 13:30
HI Jake I am so sorry to hear about Ruth. My thoughts prayers are with you and your Family.
#68 Leona Neufeld 2020-04-02 20:01
To Jake and the family I want to offer my sincere condolences.I loved Ruth for her enthusiasm for life, her infectious laugh, and her ability to tell a great story. I admired her for her unwavering dedication to her family. The last time we came to Morden to visit Ruth was gracious to carve out time for us but made it clear that she had a brand new grandchild she was on her way to meet. My mom, on hearing of Ruth's death wanted me to pass on her condolences to you as well. Today they are together in heaven.
#69 Jessie Teichroeb 2020-04-12 16:35
Jake, so sorry to hear that Ruth has passed away. My condolences to you and your family.

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