Adams Funeral Chapel: Obituaries

Adams Funeral Chapel

Garret W. DeRuiter Garret W. DeRuiter
(February 16, 1940 - May 1, 2012)

CHARLESTON, IL – Garret W. DeRuiter, age 72 of Charleston, passed away following a lengthy illness on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at his home and in the comforting and loving presence of his family.  The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 in the St. Philip Neri Chapel at the EIU Newman Catholic Center located at 500 Roosevelt Avenue in Charleston with Father John Titus presiding.  Inurnment will be in Roselawn Memorial Gardens in Bethalto, Illinois at a later time.   Visitation for family and friends will also be held on Tuesday (May 8) from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the Newman Catholic Center.  Garret’s family has requested that memorial gifts in his honor be made to Lincolnland Hospice or to the EIU Newman Catholic Center.  Gifts may be left on the memorial table at the Visitation or Mass or mailed to Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Drive, Charleston, IL 61920. 

Garret was born February 16, 1940 in Evergreen Park, Illinois, a son of the late Garret and Laverna (Lanning) DeRuiter.  He married Marilyn Hayes on September 7, 1963 in East Alton, Illinois and they have been blessed with forty-eight years of marriage and friendship.  In addition to Marilyn, Garret is survived by three loving and devoted daughters, Lauri DeRuiter-Willems and husband John of Charleston, Leslie Kaye DeRuiter of Phoenix, Arizona, Margaret Combs of Oak Park, Illinois; six delightful grandchildren, Danielle and Taylor Gadus, Garret, Kenneth and Morgan Hudson, Evangelina “Evie” Combs; nieces, nephews and cousins as well as extended family; brothers-in-law, Larry and (Judy) Hayes of Bethalto and Robert Hayes of Millstadt, Illinois.  In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his brother, Donald A. DeRuiter. 

Garret attained both his Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Fine Arts Degrees from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.  He enjoyed a thirty-five year relationship with Eastern Illinois University as a Professor in the Art Department instructing in the art of jewelry and metalsmithing; and also as a Coordinator of Faculty Development. 

Garret was a faithful member of the EIU Newman Catholic Center, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus Council 4024.  He also carried membership in the Society of North American Goldsmiths and the EIU Annuitants Association.  He volunteered with Coles County Habitat for Humanity since its establishment and was also involved with various other civic and professional organizations.  His membership at the Charleston Country Club provided for him numerous hours on the golf course where he so avidly enjoyed the sport of golf. 

He was extremely skilled in the art of jewelry and metalsmithing and also enjoyed working with wood and crafting furniture.  He was a worldwide traveler and he and Marilyn enjoyed traveling extensively.  He believed in keeping physically fit and took part in the Adult Fitness Program at EIU where he was an avid swimmer.  He enjoyed listening to music but his greatest joy came from spending quality time with his children and grandchildren.  He was a loving and devoted father and shared a special relationship with his grandchildren.  Garret was a gentleman who treated others with respect and kindness and rightfully earned the admiration of all who knew him.