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Prayer Service

Our Saviors Lutheran Church
Monday October 21st, 2019

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Funeral Service

Our Saviors Lutheran Church
Tuesday October 22nd, 2019

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Cornie "Sparky" De Ruyter

ROCK VALLEY, IOWA ~ Cornie “Sparky” De Ruyter, 89, of Inwood, Iowa, formerly of Rock Valley, passed peacefully surrounded by his family on Friday, October 18, 2019 at Hegg Health Center in Rock Valley.

   Funeral Service will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Rock Valley with Pastor Edward Pease officiating. Burial with military rites will follow in the Valley View Cemetery at Rock Valley. Visitation with the family will be from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a Prayer Service at 7:00 p.m. on Monday at the Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. The Porter Funeral Home in Rock Valley is assisting the family. Condolences may be sent to www.porterfuneralhomes.com.

   Spark was born to Dick and Lena De Ruyter near Rock Valley on April 15, 1930.  He was raised on farms near Rock Valley, Hills, and Ruthton, MN.  Sparky attended school through the 8th grade, and then worked for his dad on the farm.  He entered the service in 1952, was active in the Korean War, and honorably discharged in 1954. He met the love of his life, Shirley Gildemeister, in Holland, MN, where they married on October 28, 1955, and they enjoyed almost 64 years of marriage, during which “Sparkle” held “Shirl’s” hand every chance he got. They raised their 5 children in Rock Valley.

   His most recent place of employment was at Rock Valley Community Schools for 17 years and at Kooima Machine prior to that for 17 years.

   Sparky’s favorite pastimes were fishing, camping, woodworking, and spending time with his family, who adored him. He was known for his great sense of humor, his childlike sense of wonder and curiosity, compassion for others (especially the underdog), for always being the first to lend a helping hand, his love of nature, and for never being shy about his affection for Shirley and his family.

   He loved God and his church, Our Savior’s Lutheran, and instilled a deep faith in his children.

   He is survived by his beloved Shirley of Rock Valley; children, Trish (Dave) Mayer of Sioux Falls, Craig (Julie) De Ruyter of Rock Rapids, Lisa (Kyle) Sitzmann of Le Mars, Scott (Sarah) De Ruyter of Kitchener, Ontario, and  Michelle (Jay) Fischer of Sioux Falls; grandchildren, Carrie (Garrick) Moritz, Jaime (Aron) Moir, Sheila (Brett) Peelen, Ashley and Austin Fischer, Cody De Ruyter, Ryan, Megan and Ben Sitzmann and Alex Fischer; great-grandchildren, Morgan and Leif Moritz, Kate, Zach and Owen Moir, Koby and Parker Peelen, and Gavin Knopf; siblings, Gert Van Engen, Mina (Ed) Poppens, Mary Ann Gunnink, Rich (Fran) De Ruyter, and Carol (Rich) Hill; sisters-in-law, Margaret De Ruyter and Linda (Rich) Wissink; brothers-in-law, Darrell (Buff) Gildemeister and Denny (Mary) Gildemeister. 

   He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, John and Gerrit; sister, Nellie Schoonhoven; in-laws, Dick Van Engen, Al Franken, Pete Gunnink, John Schoonhoven, Eleanor De Ruyter, Shorty and Myrna Larson.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Cornie "Sparky" De Ruyter, please visit our flower store.


A Medium Basket Garden was ordered on October 22, 2019

Expression of Sympathy Oct 22 2019 12:00 AM

An A Tranquil Light was ordered on October 21, 2019

Expression of Sympathy Oct 21 2019 12:00 AM

A 6 inch Schefflera was ordered on October 21, 2019

Expression of Sympathy Oct 21 2019 12:00 AM

A Down By the Sea was ordered on October 20, 2019

Expression of Sympathy Oct 20 2019 12:00 AM

So sorry for your loss!

Mike and Lori Bouwman Oct 20 2019 12:00 AM

Our deepest sympathies go out to the whole family. I only knew Sparky a short period of time but am so thankful for it. Shirley, you & Sparky welcomed us into the family with open arms. Ill remember him always as a kind man with a huge smile. It was obvious how much he loved his family & how much you all loved him. Sorry we cant make it for the funeral, we are half way to Arizona already. Ill keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Love you!

Gordy & Ruth Ann (Larson) Christenson Oct 20 2019 12:00 AM

Shirley and family, So sorry to hear of Sparky's passing. He was such a dear sweet man. I treasure the bookcase that he made the base for and we still have the squirrel feeder! I'm sure your family has many treasured memories to keep him always with you. I have no doubt he is smiling at Heaven's gates!

Vicki, Steve and Rachel Herum Oct 19 2019 12:00 AM

We are so sorry for your loss. Sending prayers to your family.

Jill Gillaspie Oct 19 2019 12:00 AM

Friends and Family uploaded 82 to the gallery.

Friends and Family Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM