Ruth Vander Ploeg ’50 Carson
Ruth Elaine (Vander Ploeg) Carson, 91, passed away June 3, 2020 at her home. She was born to Theodore Leslie and Pearl Johanna (Tanis) Vander Ploeg in Grand Rapids Michigan on September 2nd, 1928. A 1946 graduate of Ottawa Hills High School, Ruth went on to complete her undergraduate work at Hope College and graduate work at Michigan State University where she met the love of her life Lewis Michael Carson Sr. She was accepted to the Eastman School Of Music but opted for a teaching career instead. Ruth taught in Saugatuck and Mt Pleasant, Michigan up until the birth of her first child in 1960. On August 11, 1956 Ruth married Mike at the Hope College Seminary Chapel in Holland, Michigan. Together they had three children. Ruth is survived by her children: Lewis Carson II, Theodore (Sarah) Carson and Pearlmarie (Peter) Brown. Her grandchildren: Grace (Jed) Brown, Rachel (Levi) Souza, Lewis Carson III, Elizabeth (Evan) Duriga, Josiah Carson, John Dowell, Jr., David (Elisa) Dowell, Niesje (Kishavan Ehola) Dowell, Johanna (Mike) Stepka, Heidi Brown. And her Great Grand Children: Jake Brown, Addalyn Brown and Selah Duriga. In addition to being an accomplished concert pianist, teacher and mother, Ruth was also an excellent home maker who took enormous pride in decor. In her retirement years, she ran a Primerica Financial Services Office with Mike. She was also a gifted baker and delighted in sharing beautiful platters of treats during the holidays. She loved music of all sorts, from Rachmaninoff, which she played at her senior recital at Hope to Broadway show tunes to hymns which she enjoyed until she passed. Ruth played cards whenever the opportunity presented itself and was an active member of the Senior Center Bridge Group, CMU Faculty Dames, Mt Pleasant Community Church and First Presbyterian Church in her younger years. She was a Dutch girl who had her own personal Tulip Time celebration in her lawn each spring. And we would be remiss if we did not mention Mike’s favorite descriptor of Ruth, “congenital shopper”. Whatever Ruth did, she did it well. Ruth was preceded in death by her husband Lewis Michael Carson Sr. (10/5/3211/20/99) her Mother, Pearl Johanna (Tanis) Vander Ploeg (12/30/1904 4/7/99) and her Father, Theodore Leslie Vander Ploeg (12/3/1902-10/2/1973).