Ruth L. Belner

April 14, 1957October 21, 2018
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Ruth LaVerna (Larson) Belner, 61, passed away Sunday evening, October 21, 2018 in White House, TN. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Friday, November 9, 2018 at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines where family will greet friends from 10 a.m. until service time at Hope. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, November 8, at McLaren’s Chapel in West Des Moines. Interment will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, November 10, 2018 at Resthaven Cemetery. She is survived by her husband, Wayne; children, Josh (Melissa) Belner and Anna (Clint) Rider; and grandchildren, Eli and Owen Belner. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to World Mission Prayer League, Jews for Jesus, or the ALS Association in Des Moines. Online condolences can be made at


  • Wayne Belner
  • Joshua Belner
  • Clint Rider
  • Paul Larson
  • Dale Larson
  • Rick Krech


  • Visitation Thursday, November 8, 2018
  • Funeral Service Friday, November 9, 2018

Ruth L. Belner

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Wayne Belner

November 12, 2018

I used to call Ruth the curly headed champion of the underdog. Why? She had a big heart and sincerely cared for people. She really used the gifts that God had given her in her life; she was loved by the customers at Medicap Pharmacy. People who were blessed to spend time with her knew that she humbly shinned through the grace, peace, and forgiveness she shared. She always smiled and was kind to all, especially to me.
The world could sure use more souls like Ruth. She is no longer suffering, is in a better place, and is rejoicing with our Savior, not to mention a bunch of relatives.
I look forward to seeing her and giving her a hug, I will definitely miss you till we are together again. Thank you for your love and gentle example.

Wayne Belner (part two)

Wayne Belner

November 12, 2018

In August of 1975 I began going to the College of Pharmacy at Drake University in Des Moines Iowa. The first week there I had a class in Freshman Biology, the teaching assistant passed out Microscopes; I couldn’t see anything. I proceeded to look around the room for a kind face, and who did I see? Ruth. I walked up to her and uttered the romantic line: “I can’t see anything through this Microscope can you?” That is how we met.
Over the years we became friends and studied together, but did not date. Why? She was a Christian and me a Jew. That changed when I was 21 and came to know Christ. Ruth had been consistently praying for my salvation ever since she had filled out a prayer card at a Jews for Jesus event years before. This is a good example to be careful who you pray for: Ruth ended up being stuck with me the rest of her life. I married up, she was better than I deserved; God always gives more than we can imagine. We always prayed that we would be a better witness together than we could have been on our own.
When I came to know Christ, God gave me a hunger for his word and I read the entire Bible in one month. One day Ruth came to visit prior to when we started going out, and asked if I had any questions about what I was reading. Well, I recently read the passage that says sell everything you have and follow me: so I was thinking of getting rid of what little I had to follow Jesus. Ruth explained that I could still follow Christ and that this particular passage wasn’t necessarily for me. She had come at the right time to illuminate his word and provide gentle wisdom as only Ruth could do.

Wayne Belner (part one)

James Holmen Amber Holmen

November 12, 2018

We enjoyed visits to Iowa and being able to hang out with the cousins as I great up. Ruth was always kind, loving and had a quiet spirit about her. She always willing to listen and always made us feel at home.
She will be missed,
James Holmen and Amber Holmen

Judy Holmen

November 12, 2018

Ruth was a fun loving, thoughtful, compassionate and caring person. She always had a positive attitude and was interested in what was going on in other people’s lives. Her smile and presence brought warmth to a room. Ruth’s faith in God shined through all she did. Even when life got hard, she never complained and could always find something to be thankful for. In May 2018 she was driving around in her wheelchair directing volunteers who had come to help with yard work and making she they wouldn’t pull the flowers all the while letting God’s love shine through her. That weekend she asked if I would wash her hair. It was quite the deal – we did it out on the deck. She put on a raincoat and I wrapped a tarp over her, so she wouldn’t get soaked while I washed her hair. What a special time of giving and receiving. What a good and faithful servant of God. I thank God for her and will indeed miss her.

Judy Holmen

Josh Belner

November 12, 2018

I will remember my mother as loving, caring, patient, forgiving, gracious, thoughtful, and prayerful. Growing up my mom would always encourage us and love us patiently. I remember a time in fifth grade when I was working on a history assignment in my room. The assignment was to write a letter that would have been exchanged during the civil war. After writing it I decided I wanted to singe the edges. I lit one edge of the paper and blew it out. When I went to singe the other side the whole piece of paper caught fire. I dropped it into a metal trash can thinking that would extinguish it, but a piece floated out and landed on the carpet starting a fire in my room. I quickly stomped it out, but not before smoke alarms went off. My mom ran to my room to make sure I was OK. When she asked me what happened I lied. I explained how someone must have crawled through my bedroom window (I was on the second floor) started a fire, and jumped out. She played along with it patiently until I came clean after I couldn't take lying to her anymore. She was patient with me and quick to forgive. She did not get angry or upset with me even though I could have burned the house down. The way she loved me in this moment was a consistent theme throughout my life. She gave me great examples of Christ's love, and I am so thankful for the mother He gave me growing up, and the mother He gave me to remember.


Erik Paul Larson

November 12, 2018

My fondest memories of Aunt Ruth revolve around Christmas . As a child, every year I'd look forward to hanging out with cousins at Aunt Ruth's house. Although the highlight of my time was playing with cousins and eating Christmas treats, Aunt Ruth was always there diligently working hard and lovingly to be an amazing host of our Christmas Traditions. Aunt Ruth was always brought a patient and loving presence to the room. To this day, I often think of Aunt Ruth during the Christmas season and she is closely associated with fun family gatherings, sitting at giant spreads of endless food, and having an amazingly caring and giving attitude.

Erik Paul Larson

Mary Krech

November 12, 2018

As a small child, I have special memories of Christmas and summer gatherings at Grandpa Larson’s. All the cousins often slept in the living room. We had fun, we played games, laughed, drank Dad’s Root Beer, provided by Grandpa and collected many memories. While I greatly looked forward to these gatherings, I often received a box of hand-me-down clothes from Ruth! This was defiantly a perk of being one of the youngest cousins.
Over the years, we began having Larson gatherings on a weekend in the summer. Ruth and I stayed connected through the years. We both married and our children were born very close to each other and they became like first cousins as we gathered several times a year as families. Confirmations, graduations and weddings have all been shared.
When life had its’ ups and downs, we were there to support and pray for each other. Cell phones, texting and Facebook were all ways we stayed connected. She was my “life line” many times. Her compassion, love and patience will always be treasured. She has been a solid rock in my life. She was an encourager, a cousin, a friend and a sister.

Mary Krech (part one)

Becky Shuka

November 12, 2018

Ruth had a gentle and quiet spirit which is described as imperishable and precious in the sight of God (1 Peter 3:4).
Although none of us can love perfectly until we are “face to face,” Ruth’s life reminds me of the description of love in 1 Corinthians 13
.....patient, kind, not jealous or arrogant, not self-seeking or provoked, doesn’t take into account a wrong suffered, rejoices with the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.....
Because of Ruth’s faith in God and His faithfulness to her, she was able to live this out, not only in the good times, but also through sorrow and suffering.

Becky Shuka (step-sister)

Erin Heilman

November 12, 2018

This is one of my favorite recent pictures I got at Kristin & Jordan’s wedding!
I had lots of wonderful time catching up with Ruth that night and her pure joy in that moment was so awesome, she smiled and told me she would dance again one day while she watched all the cousins and second cousins dancing.
Love you Ruth and I love that now you’re in heaven with Lois and Grandma and Grandpa,

Erin Heilman

Dale and Christy Larson

November 12, 2018

I have many fond memories of my sister, Ruth, so let’s begin... As a little kid, I remember Ruth’s never-ending patience with me, her pesky little brother. We spent HOURS in the car with our other siblings and parents during family vacations, traveling all over the US. Amazingly, we didn’t mind being cooped up in the car together; we filled our time playing travel bingo, tracking our progress on the AAA “TripTik” and examining every license plate we could lay our eyes on, desperately trying to find all 50 states. I also remember making Christmas cookies with Ruth and Mom year after year. Ruth and I “painted” the delicate pepperkaker that Mom made. Ruth was a much better artist than I. Ruth was a very dedicated student; she also enjoyed playing violin. She graduated high school at the very top of her class as valedictorian; she was the perfect example of a hardworking, serious student. She was 2 years ahead of me, so when I graduated high school in 1977, we took a trip to Europe with my friend, Kevin. The three of us had lots of fun together. We especially enjoyed the time we spent in England visiting our sister, Lois, who was living there with her husband, Mik.
Ruth attended Drake University to become a pharmacist, following in the footsteps of our Aunt Elvia and Grandpa Werner. Once again, she demonstrated her strong work ethic and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She was a member of Rho Chi (ΡΧ), an international honor society for pharmaceutical sciences. In spite of the rigors of pharmacy school, she found time to be very involved in Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship and even served as their Missions Chair. She was a very busy college co-ed in the 70’s, but she also made time to date a fellow pharmacy student at Drake, a certain Wayne Belner.

Dale and Christy (part one)


Ruth was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, on April 14, 1957, to LeRoy T. Larson and LaVerna (Werner) Larson Peterson. She had three siblings, Lois and Paul prior to her birth and Dale a couple years later. Following graduation from Roosevelt High School, Des Moines in 1975, Ruth attended Drake University and interned as a pharmacist at Mercy Medical Center and graduated with a degree in pharmacy. It was at Drake that Ruth met Wayne.

Ruth married Wayne Belner on August 16, 1980. They moved to Chicago and Ruth worked as a pharmacist at Evanston Hospital in Chicago. In 1987, Ruth and Wayne moved to Johnston, Iowa as her father was diagnosed with ALS. Her father passed away in 1988. Together Ruth and Wayne had two children: Josh Belner and Anna (Belner) Rider. Through the years, Ruth balanced helping her mother, raising their two children and was a faithful member of their church.

In Des Moines, Ruth worked at several Medicap Pharmacies, she also worked at Omnicare as a Pharmacist for nursing homes. For more than 30 years, Ruth worked at the Medicap Pharmacy in Urbandale, Iowa. The location was very convenient when Ruth’s Mom, LaVerna, lived at Illahee. The owner John, was a Drake classmate and friend to both Wayne and Ruth. Ruth was a compassionate, detailed, and kind professional who sought to offer the best service she could to each customer; over the years these customers would consider her a friend who truly cared.

In 1992, Ruth's mother got married to LeRoy’s childhood best friend, Myrle. They lived in Des Moines, not too far from Ruth and Wayne. Years later, LaVerna and Myrle downsized and moved into Illahee Hills near to Ruth's work. Ruth and Wayne visited and assisted her parents often. Myrle passed away in March of 2016 and LaVerna, needing more care, moved to an assisted living facility in Ames in November 2017, she passed away in July 2018. Josh married Melissa on July 29, 2011. They brought much joy to Ruth, especially by blessing her with two grandsons, Eli (June 14, 2015) and Owen (May 4, 2017).

Ruth began to have symptoms of ALS in October of 2016 that were officially diagnosed and confirmed as ALS the end of February 2017. In May 2017, she fell and broke her right ankle on Memorial Day weekend. This break required surgery and follow-up therapy. In September 2017, Ruth and Wayne purchased a handicap van and a power wheelchair. Ruth was able to maneuver in the wheelchair independently until her earthly life ended. She officially retired from Medicap, due to her physical restrictions in the fall of 2017 when she was unable to return to work. The day after her mother's funeral on August 5th, Ruth fell again and broke her left ankle; this break unfortunately could not be fixed. For the remainder of her life, she was unable to put weight on her foot and Wayne lifted her each time she needed to be moved or adjusted in her chair. Wayne listened and cared for her just as he promised on August 16, 1980…"I take you Ruth….for better or worse, in sickness and in health…till death do us part."

Ruth's cell phone was her life line. She texted and received prayer requests, encouraged others even in her own suffering, and enjoyed social media to keep up with friends and family. She was able to attend church and participate in small group Bible studies with Wayne. She was surrounded with people who loved her, cared for her, and prayed for her. She asked God to heal her, her prayers were answered as she is fully healed in the presence of her Heavenly Father.

Ruth was a devoted and loving wife, mother and grandmother. She considered these a great gift and blessing from God. Her entire life was a beautiful reflection of her deep love for her Lord Jesus. She treasured the scripture Psalm 121. "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth." This is the verse she clung to as she faced her ALS, and it was often recited by LaVerna, her mother and fellow prayer warrior. Ruth met with Jesus daily in scripture reading and prayer as she battled her disease to reflect Christ's love and her servant heart in all she did.

Ruth's daughter Anna was engaged to Clint Rider on August 29, 2018 and wanted her mother Ruth to be a part of  this important day. Anna and Clint set their wedding for October 21st. Wayne and Ruth left Des Moines to travel to Nashville for the wedding on Wednesday, October 17 with equipment, their wedding attire, and excitement in tow. They arrived Thursday evening, after a difficult ride for Ruth. On Friday, Ruth made sure she had everything ready for the wedding; she still needed a shawl, a blanket and a pair of knee-highs. The morning of the wedding, she was able to obtain earrings to wear for the day and had acquired everything else she needed. Every detail was set, Ruth knew the flowers were beautiful and although her health was failing her, she wanted to be beautiful for her daughter's wedding. She was able to have her hair and makeup done by her cousin Mary. Everything that Ruth needed, God provided in those last months, and the last days. She witnessed her daughter getting married, she was surrounded by her husband, and both of her children. She was tired, her breathing was labored, but she wanted to see Wayne and Anna as they danced the father-daughter dance. She watched carefully. She was satisfied, she was content. She was blessed by her husband and her two beautiful children, their spouses, and Eli and Owen, her precious grandchildren.

Ruth peacefully slipped into the streets of glory as her Heavenly Father called her home, just a short time after she watched Anna and Wayne, just as Anna was able to dance in her father's arms, Ruth was able to reach out to her heavenly father as he called to her to come home, to be whole again, and dance in the presence of her Lord. Ruth was faithful to her God. He walked with her each day. She experienced several difficulties and struggles in her life, but she held close to her God for strength and comfort, and held on to the promise of celebrating with those who preceded her to heaven. Ruth's compassion, love and servant heart will always remain in our hearts and in our lives.