Jean DeRuyter

Long-time teacher Jean L. DeRuyter of Cedar Grove died of a stroke Friday, Oct. 26, at Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice in Sheboygan Falls. She was 81.
Miss DeRuyter was born on May 11, 1937, in Cedar Grove to Walter and Zina Huibregtse DeRuyter. She was a 1955 graduate of Cedar Grove High School. After high school she attended Sheboygan County Normal School in Sheboygan Falls  for two years to train as a teacher.
She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a master’s degree in education from UW-Milwaukee.
Miss DeRuyter taught for 39 years at three country schools, the one-room Liberty School, which now can be visited at Pioneer Village, the one-room River Valley  schoolhouse and the two-room school house at Five Corners near Sheboygan Falls. She then taught fourth- and fifth-grade students in the Cedar Grove-Belgium School District.

Miss DeRuyter was an avid reader, usually picking up books on display near the check-out lanes at the grocery store.

“She would look at reading material before food,” her sister, Marion DeRuyter said.

She also was a faithful reader of the Bible, making it a daily habit, her sister said.

“She used a devotional and when she finished one day’s reading she would mark her reading for the next day,” her sister said. “That’s where I found her” the morning after she died. “She had her place already marked for that day’s reading.”

Miss DeRuyter was a lifelong member of First Reformed Church in Cedar Grove, where she taught Sunday school and Vacation Bible School.

She was born on the family farm outside Cedar Grove but moved into town at a young age. But the farm remained in the family. After she became a teacher she moved back to the farm and built a new house there, her sister said.

“She pretty much designed the house,” she said.  

Miss DeRuyter had a large garden and grew both vegetables and flowers, with which she prepared meals and provided gifts for family and friends.

She also enjoyed cooking and was always trying new recipes and adding to her cookbook collection, her sister said.

She especially enjoyed mowing the lawn.

“She mowed her lawn, my lawn and the lawn for a rental property I own,” her sister said. “She called it her exercise. She liked seeing what it looked liked when it was done.”

She also enjoyed crocheting, cross-stitching and photography.

She lived on the farm until she suffered a stroke on Oct. 9, after which she was hopitalized.

Miss DeRuyter is survived by her sister. She was preceded in death by her parents and grandparents.

A funeral service was held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31, at First Reformed Church in Cedar Grove. The Rev. Chris Schaefer officiated.           Burial was at Cedar Grove Cemetery.

Gifts to a memorial fund established in her name with Words of Hope or a charity of the donor’s choice are requested.

Wenig Funeral Home of Oostburg assisted the family.



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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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