Linda Ruiter ’87 Verellen
erellen, Linda 6/15/1965 – 2/8/2023 Traverse City, MI The world is dimmer now as we announce the peaceful passing of our Lovely Linda. Linda was born on May 15, 1965 in Blue Earth County, Minnesota. She and younger brother John grew up in Spring Lake, MI raised by parents Jane and Allen Ruiter. Her work ethic began as a Candy Striper at Grand Haven Community Hospital followed at the Front Porch scooping ice cream in Spring Lake.
Linda graduated from Hope College in 1987 that included Vienna Summer School with a B.A. in English, then worked at GMAC in Grand Rapids where she met her future husband Douglas on the telephone. They spoke for 3 months on the phone without meeting. Once they met, each couldn’t wait to get back on the phone to plan their next meeting that began their life together. They married in 1989 and Linda made it very clear that her number one goal was to be a Mommy and wanted a big house to fill with babies. She glowed as a soft, bright sun during her three pregnancies with Forrest (31), Maxwell (29) and Olivia (26). She was able to be a stay-at-home mom for 10 years until starting her own scrapbooking business with Creative Memories (and there were many).
She enjoyed the flexible hours as it allowed her to be home at that all important time when the kids got home from school. She intuitively felt that first hour critical, and the kids were truly blessed. Every school year began with her infamous school bus cake. They moved to Traverse City in 2000 and all felt it was the best move ever made. Linda became certified as a Medical Transcriptionist and worked midnights at Munson for a year as it allowed her to still be home when the kids finished school. She then began her own transcription business, Medlines. This allowed her to participate in all their children’s activities including Boy Scouts, Youth Group, school sports and banquets, plays and musicals, music lessons, and Brownie and Girl Scout Troop Leader, culminating in a trip to Savannah, GA to Juliet Lowe’s house with her Troop.
Later, her transcription business turned into a full time job as a Surgery Coordinator/Receptionist at Cedar Run Surgery Center for 15 years where she warmly touched many lives, colleagues and patients alike. Linda was an intrepid Cross Stitcher and created many fine treasures from birth samplers to world maps and beyond. This evolved to Needlepoint which spawned several more treasures. She always said “idle hands are the devils workshop”. Linda was most peaceful cross-stitching on the couch, watching a movie in front of the fireplace, surrounded by her babies, husband and dog. There were many running races, bike races and triathlons she attended and assisted while husband and children competed. Then Linda took up running and moved from 5K’s up to 1/2 marathons, locally and in Ohio, Florida and Alaska. Her physicality was put to the test on a Rim to Rim backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon with husband Doug, son Forrest, nephew Buddy and cousin Margey. It was then she said: “I can do hard things”, and that was true. She was a member of the TC Track Club. Also a Master Gardner, Linda was a member of the Friendly Garden Club for several years. Generous, caring, loving, loved and all about family is who she was. This came through with surprise packages of baked goods and treats to various nieces, nephews and friends on their first venture moving away from home. She is survived by her three children, husband for 33 years, mother and brother, Stepfather Jim Stariha and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Linda is preceded in death by her father Allen.