Ruby Irene Grover
July 3, 1931 – June 28, 2020
Ruby Irene Berg Grover was born July 3, 1931 to Sadie Caroline Oxenfield Berg and Olaf E. Berg. She was an identical twin and youngest of 10 children. She loved her siblings and Berg family gatherings were always epic events. She had 2 older brothers who served in WWII and were at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. Her older sister Byrdie helped look after the “twins” who were a miracle as they were both born under 5 pounds at home with no hospital care. There was no incubator to keep them warm, just the loving arms of her mom and older siblings and the warmth from the same stove they used for cooking. As a result of her challenging start in life, she grew up with a hearing loss but she and her twin Ruth could always communicate with each other in their own way. She loved being a twin with her sister Ruth more than anything and was so very proud of the special connection they shared.
Ruby grew up in Ellsworth, a small town in central Iowa. The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union was formed in the 1920’s and gave birth to iconic Girls Basketball teams that thrived in Iowa’s rural schools. Ruby loved sports, especially basketball and played on her high school team. Legend has it that in one game she played, she scored the only goal for her team. Now Ruby never told a lie so surely that remains a school record of sorts!
Ruby also loved to roller skate and was quite impressive. She could dance on those 8 wheels and loved to sail around the rink for hours to the best music of the day! She had her own pair of white skates which was a luxury for the time she grew up. They were adorned with white fluffy rabbit fur balls on the toes and were always perfectly polished. She would hitchhike from Ellsworth to Jewell which was the nearest roller rink. It was only about 4 miles from home but she would have traveled 40 miles for her love of skating.
Ruby met the love of her life Richard D. Grover shortly after he returned from serving in the Korean War. They were both working at the Morton Pie factory in Webster City, Iowa. They were married February 11, 1956 and were side by side until he passed away holding her hand February 7, 2018, just 4 days shy of their 62nd wedding anniversary. She loved being a farmer’s wife and worked hard every day. If you can imagine, she took her job as “bean walker” very seriously and there was no one who could hold a candle to her ability to rid the soy beans of the rogue weeds that didn’t belong! The rows she walked were clean as a whistle. She worked hours in a garden that could feed several families and canned the produce so there would be food for the winter. Corn on the cob with a glass of water was her favorite meal. She loved flowers of all kinds, but peonies were definitely her favorite. She loved parades and especially the 4th of July.
Ruby is the proud mom to three children, Randy Grover (Lori), Debbie (Steve) Bergstrom and Carol (Russ) Stalzer. She has 7 grandchildren, Andrea Sofranko, Becky Ellsworth, Jeff Bergstrom, Rachel Solem, Courtney Stalzer, Katie Glowacki and Rob Stalzer. She was thrilled to have 10 great grandchildren, Jackson, Pierson, Emerson, Graceyn, Colton, Kamden, Bryant, Ruby, Eli and Russell. She loved each and every one unconditionally and cherished every moment spent with her family. She was a sports fanatic and loved watching her son Randy wrestle, her daughter Debbie play basketball and run track and her youngest daughter Carol talk (speech contests, not athletic). She was the quintessential cheerleader and you could feel her love with every “come on” and “yay” spoken at the top of her lungs with thunderous clapping. Sitting next to her in the stands was always a bit of a risk as she would help each move, dribble and stride. During one wrestling match where Randy beat the favored wrestler, she actually slugged the person next to her in excitement! She was the same with college basketball and wore the ISU, Bergie Bombsquad colors with the greatest of pride. She was a sweet little lady but she was fiercely competitive. She never “let” anyone win at any game she played, not even her grandchildren!
Ruby was a faithful member of the Clarion Congregational Church, serving on numerous committees over the years. She especially loved the church bizarre and the Christmas pageants. Ruby’s heritage is Norwegian. She is a first generation American as her father was an immigrant from Stavanger, Norway. Her parents used to speak to each other in their native language but the only words she knew were “kan du snake norsk” (“can you speak Norwegian?”). Family delicacies passed down from generation to generation are kringla, lefse, kumla which were only made for special occasions. She was proud to be a “full blooded Norwegian” and one of the thrills of her life was being able to visit Norway with her identical twin Ruth.
Ruby will be remembered by her family as a role model of how to live your life. She never said an unkind word to or about anyone. She saw the good in everyone. Each one of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were perfect in her beautiful blue eyes. She lived Psalm 27:13: “I believe I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” She has been greeted in heaven with a parade, fireworks and a ringside seat at an Iowa State Basketball game. Her sweet words, hugs and kisses will be forever missed by those who love her.
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Thursday, July 2, 2020
Ruby Irene Grover
June 30, 2020
Growing up Debbie and I spent almost every day together, we stayed at each other’s houses, we played basketball and track together. I remember staying at Debbies house and Ruby would be making kringla and I loved them. Every one of them came out perfect and tasted delicious! Ruby was our biggest cheerleader at our games - I don’t think she ever missed any event cheering us on. She had the kindest heart and will be truly missed, she was like my second Mom. My deepest sympathies to the family.
June 30, 2020
Carol, Debbie - How I loved reading all the details of your precious mother's life! What an incredible woman! I have had the joy of meeting her, being around her - and seeing her beautiful legacy of all of the Bergstrom's and Stalzer's! How my heart hurts for each of you! With much love,
June 29, 2020
I had the pleasure of being with Ruby on several occasions but one memory I will never forget was when grandma Ruth, great aunt Ruby, and all of their sisters came to watch me play softball in Webster city. Between the size of their family and their enthusiasm for watching me play it felt like I had my own personal cheering squad at that game! That is a memory I will cherish forever ❤️❤️
June 29, 2020
As you already know, I did not know your Mama, but I can see you (Carol) in her sweet obituary. You carry a part of her in your life and always will. I am glad to hear that she lived down in Texas with you and Russ -- Iowa would have been a lonely place without you two. While I wish that I had known her, I feel that I sort of did through you. Best wishes from Mississippi to you, Russ, and your family during this difficult time.
June 29, 2020
Ruby always had the best smile, laugh and hugs. I loved seeing my great Aunt and her fluffy Poms every year at Jewell Jubilee Days for Grandma Bea's birthday. I remember piercing her ears when I worked at Claire's. She picked out ruby studs and her eyes sparkled when she saw how pretty they were. Her spirit for life will be missed. Hugs and prayers for her family and friends.
June 29, 2020
Dear Grover Family,
Having meet Ruby & knowing how much she loved her family & all those around her,She is in heaven watching over her family & making sure Our Lord has you covered. May all your memories give you peace. I will be praying for all of you to find comfort in knowing your own Angel has you covered ❤️