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Ruth Janice (Greenfield) Kerby

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

Went to be with the Lord on January 25, 2023.

She was born during a snow storm on the family farm, 7 miles North of Jewel and a half mile West of Hwy 69 on February 13, 1936. The fourth child of William S. and Lena (Hassebrock) Greenfield. She attended school in Kamrar, Iowa and graduated in 1953. Going on to attend and graduate from the State Teachers College in Cedar Falls, Iowa, now the University of Northern Iowa.

In August 1955 she married Ralph E Ennis and they had a daughter, Janis. Ruth taught in Dallas Center, Iowa and Ralph worked at the Air Force radar installation in Waverly, Iowa. In June 1956 he sustained extreme injury in a car accident and passed away in October 1960. During this time, she and her daughter lived with her parents on the family farm and she taught in Williams, Iowa.

In 1961 she and her daughter moved to Gowrie, Iowa where she taught in the elementary school.

In 1963 they moved to Des Moines, Iowa where she went back to college and received her teaching degree from Drake University. She taught briefly in Des Moines and then started teaching for the Southeast Polk school district at Mitchellville Elementary School. She taught there until her retirement in 1995.

She met and married Victor J Punelli in 1970. They built a house and enjoyed life and traveling together until January 1979, when Victor passed away.

In 1980 she met Donald E Kerby and they married on July 11, 1981. Along with this marriage she gained 3 step children. The years ahead would be filled with travel, family gatherings, marriages and births. She was active in school, church and mission activities. Mission and education trips taking her to Japan, Africa, Europe and South America. She loved to travel and did so with both family and friends. The family grew with the additions of grandchildren and great grandchildren. On August 1, 2016 Don passed away.

She traveled a bit more and made a move to Minnesota to be with her daughter and grandson’s families. She moved into a senior living facility and made many friends and enjoyed various activities that were offered.

Ruth had many talents including playing the clarinet, playing the piano, singing in school and church choir, painting, quilting and gardening. She was a caring and giving person both of her time and finances.

Ruth is survived by daughter and son-in-law, Janis and Denny Hill; step sons and daughter-in-law, Richard Kerby, Robert and Amy Kerby and step daughter and son-in-law Brenda and Mike Ram. Seven grandchildren Jason (Wendy) Kerby, Tricia (Ryan) Flattery, Shannon (Patrick) Lang, Marshall (Vanessa) Kerby, Terah (Wade) Gurnett, Andrew (Jessica) Hill, Tressa (Pat) Greer. Thirteen Great Grandchildren. Brother and sister-in-law Gary and Carol Greenfield. Many nieces and nephews.

Ruth is preceded in death by her husbands, Ralph Ennis, Victor Punelli and Donald Kerby; Brothers Donald Greenfield and Harold Greenfield, Sister Arlene (Greenfield) Van Langen; step daughter-in law Freida Kerby; Grandson Grant Kerby, Great Granddaughter Hope Flattery; brother and sisters-in-law and nephews and cousins.

A celebration of life will be held on April 14, 2023 at Sunset Memorial Chapel at 12:00pm with a time of gathering beforehand at 11:00am. Following the services, there will be further time to commemorate with desserts until 2:00pm.

Memorial Contributions may be made to:

Hope Ministries


NewLife Church for: Ruth Kerby Kids Church Camp Scholarship

NewLife Church, 6010 NE 12th Ave, Pleasant Hill, IA 50327


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