Pastor Richard DeRuyter, age 84, of Ruthton, Minnesota passed away on Monday, May 10, 2021, surrounded by loved ones at his home. Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 13, 2021, from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at The Country Church in Ruthton with memory sharing at 6:30 PM. A funeral service will be on Friday, May 14, 2021, at 10:00 AM at church. Interment will follow at the Ruthton City Cemetery. Arrangements have been entrusted to Hartquist Funeral Home – Pipestone Chapel.
Pastor Richard DeRuyter was born on March 29, 1937, to Dick and Lena (Kooistra) DeRuyter on their farm near in Rock Valley, Iowa. He relocated with his family to a farm outside of Hills, Minnesota where his childhood took place. In 1950, the family moved once again to a farm near Ruthton, Minnesota. Following his education, he became a soldier with the United States Army and served during the Korean Conflict from November of 1957 to October of 1959. He earned the rank of Specialist 4. He was honorably discharged from the Army and went on to work on a dairy farm near Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He was united in marriage to Eleanor Determan in Lake Benton, Minnesota on April 16, 1961. The couple was blessed with two daughters, Nancy and Cathy Jo. In 1962, Rich and Eleanor purchased a farm less than a mile from his parents. Eleanor preceded Rich in death in 1977, after battling cancer. Rich found true love a second time and was united in marriage to Frances Scotting on February 18, 1978, in Ruthton. They continued to farm until 1988, when they sold the farm and moved into Ruthton. In 1984, Rich accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour. He was ordained into the ministry in 1988. Rich pastored The Country Church of Ruthton for 33 years. His last sermon was just one week prior to his passing on Monday, May 10, 2021. He was 84 years, one month, and 11 days. Rich’s passion for all the things about Jesus Christ impacted all aspects of his life. In their spare time, Rich and Fran loved to travel to various locations across the country preaching Rich’s testimony and telling them about the Lord. He truly enjoyed people, and they enjoyed his quick wit. Rich’s ministry brought him the honor to officiate the weddings of his youngest daughter and 3 oldest grandchildren; a fact he proudly recalled to many friends and acquaintances. He will truly be missed.
Rich is remembered by his wife, Frances of Ruthton; daughters, Nancy (Dennis) Bertrand of Garvin, Minnesota and Cathy Jo (Daniel) Bertrand of Iona, Minnesota; 5 grandchildren, Joshua (Corrie) Bertrand, Sarah (Ryan) McFarland, Lissa (Nick) Li, Jacob Bertrand, and Kayla Thompson (Justin Garcia); four great-grandchildren, Eleanor and Maren Bertrand, Chloe Orpen, and Abraham Garcia; siblings, Gert Van Engen of Hartley, Iowa, Mina (Ed) Poppens of Tea, South Dakota, Mary Ann Gunnink of Edgerton, Minnesota, and Carol (Richard) Hill of Fort Worth, Texas; and siblings-in-law, Shirley DeRuyter of Rock Valley, and Linda Wissink of Rock Valley . He was preceded in death by his first wife, Eleanor; parents; brothers, John (Margaret), Gerrit, and Sparky; sister, Nellie (John) Schoonhoven; and brothers-in-law, Dick Van Engen and Peter Gunnink.