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Ruth Tervelt

May 18, 1914 February 21, 2015
Ruth Tervelt
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Obituary for Ruth Tervelt

Ruth Tervelt, formerly of Quincy, Illinois and the last three years living in Austin, Texas, died on February 21st, 2015 in Austin. She was two months short of 101 years old, having been born on May 18, 1914. Ruth, being a bit of a whiz kid, graduated from Central College in Pella, Iowa, at a younger age than is usual and began teaching high school Latin in Iowa at the age of 20. On June 4 of 1938 she married Alvin Tervelt (now deceased) and moved to Washington, Iowa, where they were teacher and principal in the public school system. A few years later Al became principal of Jackson School in Quincy, followed by Adams School when it first opened, so they moved to Quincy and remained there for 67 years. Ruth and Al raised their children in Quincy and also gave many other children an excellent start to their educational careers. Ruth was a kindergarten teacher at Dewey School for many years, until her retirement in 1969. She then started a long career of volunteer work which included nearly three decades volunteering for the Red Cross in Quincy and many years spent as a docent at the Quincy Museum. She was always an outstanding pianist and organist and played the organ for the Presbyterian Church for many years while she was working as a teacher. Following her school retirement she continued playing the organ for the Presbyterian Church and followed that with being the organist at the Chapel of Good Samaritan Home until she was 96 years old. Since she lived independently at her home on State Street until moving to Austin in 2011, she found it humorous, while always keeping it a secret, that she was probably older than most of the people who lived at Good Samaritan. Ruth was a longtime volunteer in the caf" at Blessing Hospital in the 1970s and 80s. She was also a lifetime member of Quincy PEO (insisting on telling her children that PEO stands for People Eat Onions), and was also on the Board of Directors at Good Samaritan Home, where she enjoyed her time there both as a board member and as the church organist. Ruth is survived by her two children, Paul Tervelt, of Austin, Texas and Joan Duessler (Steve) of Manitou Springs, Colorado. She was blessed to have grandchildren who adored her, Shawn Brecka of Leadville, Colorado and Angelina Welsh of Leadville, Colorado, and two great-grandchildren, Kendra and Dylan, both of Leadville, Colorado. She is also survived by her niece and nephew, Nancy Tervelt Shay and Warren Tervelt of Sterling, Illinois, and many loved ones in Wisconsin.Ruth, having outlived most everyone but a few friends in Quincy, chose to have a private family burial at the cemetery in Fenton, Illinois where she will now keep Al company.

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