Ruth Marie Haafke, 82, of Bronson, died Friday, March 17, 2017, at Pioneer Valley Nursing and Rehab in Sergeant Bluff.
Services were held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 22 at New Life Community Church (4800 Stone Ave. in Sioux City) with the Rev. Jonathon Young officiating. Interment will be in Memorial Park Cemetery in Sioux City.
Arrangements were under the direction of Morningside Chapel, Christy-Smith Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.christysmith.com.
Ruth was born on Monday, Oct. 15, 1934, in Clifton, Kan., the daughter of the late George and Clara (Norvoe) Till. The family moved to the Whiting, Iowa, area to farm when she was a young girl.
She graduated from Whiting High School in 1952 and went on to attend Westmar College in Le Mars, Iowa, for two years to earn her teaching certificate.
Ruth married Richard Haafke on Feb. 17, 1956. The couple had three children: Randy, Becky and Robert.
Ruth was a stay-at-home mom until Robert was old enough to go to school. While raising her family, she attended Morningside College to earn her Bachelor’s degree in education.
Ruth worked for the Sioux City Community Schools at Hawthorne Elementary for many years. She taught first and second graders until her health forced her to quit.
Ruth was a very compassionate person, always there to help with a project or with someone in need at church or school. She loved being able to touch and be a part of so many lives through teaching over the years.
Ruth always looked forward to receiving Christmas cards from former students and their families. It meant a lot to her.
Ruth received an award with her good friend, Cheryl Hewitt, for being the first in Iowa to implement co-teaching of children.
Her hobbies included knitting (pot holders and hot pads), music, and writing poems and short stories.
Ruth was also a published author. She wrote “Tilly’s Tales: Stories of a Classroom Teacher and Family Stories.”
She combined her love of music and teaching by teaching Sunday school and playing the piano at church in Bronson when her children were growing up.
She was a member of New Life Community Church in Sioux City.
Survivors include her husband of 61 years, Richard; a son, Randy (Marilyn) Haafke of Bronson; a daughter, Becky Haafke of Sioux City; grandchildren Kirk (Megan) Haafke of Bronson; Kyle and Kalyn Haafke of Oaks, N.D.; Monica Haafke of Lincoln, Neraska; and Armando Haafke of Sioux City; great-grandchildren Kora Haafke and Max Klein; and numerous nieces and nephews; along with many cousins who were special to her, and her many texting friends.