Ruth Joan Kortlever Statema went to be with her Lord and Savior on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. She is remembered for her fun-loving spirit, her servant heart and her deep concern that her grandchildren have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Ruth was born on April 27, 1931, to Florence and Raymond Kortlever, the third child of four. Along with her two older brothers, Harold and Robert, and her younger sister, Betty, she lived and worked on the family’s 70-cow dairy. She attended Ebenezer school through eighth grade, later earning her GED through correspondence courses.
Ruth met Bernard Statema when he came from Hull, North Dakota, to visit his older brothers in Lynden. After about a year of letters and visits, they were engaged, and Ruth’s parents took a trip to North Dakota to get to know Bernie and his family better. Ruth and Bernie were married on Sept. 22, 1948. They lived in Lynden two years, then with 8-month-old daughter, Shirley Jean, moved to North Dakota to run his parents’ farm. Three years later, they moved back to Lynden with their toddler son, David Allen. Here they purchased a 78-acre dairy farm on Double Ditch Road. Bernie and Ruth worked hard, side by side, to establish the farm and to provide for the Christian education of their children, a very high priority for them.
In 1976 they sold the farm and did some traveling. They lived in Bellingham, Marysville, Everett, Lynden, Arizona and Puyallup, and then were back to Lynden and into Lynden Manor assisted-living where Bernie passed away in 2009. They were married 60 years.
Ruth had a lifelong enjoyment of embroidery, knitting, crocheting, gardening, playing games, reading and, more recently, beading and collecting owls. She liked to have fun and laugh.
Ruth was a servant — to her parents; to her husband, Bernie, especially in his last years of Alzheimers; to elderly relatives she cared for in her home; to her daughter and grand-children as Shirley succumbed to cancer in 1993.
She touched people wherever she was placed, even impacting the care staff at Lynden Manor and finally the hospital staff at her life’s end.
She is survived by her brother Harold (Laura); son David (Elaine); six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Ruth was interred in Monumenta Cemetery.
Memorials are suggested to Lynden Christian Schools, 417 Lyncs Drive, Lynden, WA 98264.
Ruth’s funeral arrangements were entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services.