Mary Carpenter ’41 Steketee

Ruby Carpenter was raised in rural upstate New York and was quite courageous when she left home at 17 to travel to Hope College in Holland, MI. She studied toward a degree in Education at Hope for two years and then returned to New York to finish her degree. In 1941, she married Cornelius J. Steketee; their 60-year marriage was strong until he passed away in 2001. They spent about 20 years living in Grand Rapids and then moved back to Holland in 1969.

Family was everything to her; we were fortunate to have her for 103 years. Ruby and Cornie raised five active children with an 11-year age span. She shared her enduring love of animals and the natural world with her children. Ruby was fascinated by her many backyard visitors~ birds, deer, and turkey among the giant beech trees in Waukazoo Woods. She was creative with her sewing, knitting, and tatting as well as in her garden. Among her many projects was making countless sets of hats and mittens for local children.

Cornie and Ruby traveled extensively, both in the US and abroad. As a couple, they dedicated many hours to Airstream friends and trips, producing and sharing a number of well-crafted travel programs.

Ruby attended Third Reformed Church regularly until a few years ago. She sang in the choir for a number of years and also served on the Consistory.

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