Ruth Esther Vande Kamp

Ruth Esther Vande Kamp, Age 84 of North Branch, passed away on April 20, 2012.

Ruth was born on September 11, 1927 in Mason City, Iowa to Harold and Rosella Ames.  At age one and a half years, Ruth lost her mother to bone cancer.

Ruth lived with her grandparents on a farm between Mason City and Clear Lake, Iowa.

When Ruth was three, her dad married Ruth Kilmer who became her loving mother.

The family moved to Clear Lake where her dad was an auctioneer and owned a sales barn.

When Ruth was 12, the family moved to Albert Lea where Harold owned the sales barn there.

Ruth graduated from Albert Lea High School in 1945.  She attended Mankato State College for one and a half years until the army came home.

Ruth and Lambert “Bert” Vande Kamp were married November 3, 1946.  They lived in Hollandale, Minnesota, for three years where Bert worked at Verdarn’s Garage and raised a few acres of onions on the site.

In 1950, the onion price was very good, so they were sold and they bought a 40-acre farm east of Ellendale, Minnesota, where they milked a few cows and had a few pigs.

On March 1, 1952, Ruth and Bert bought a 93-acre farm between Cambridge and North Branch on Highway 95 with three sons, Gary, Bob, and Bruce who were born in Hollandale and Ellendale.  It was here two more sons were born, Ron and Ross and grew up where they learned to work helping to milk cows and haying as well as helping other farmers with their haying.

In 1973, (July 4th) an auction was held selling everything including the cows.

In 1976, Ruth and Bert moved closer to North Branch on another 40 acres.  A new house was built and some new sheds.

It was here they spent their remaining days with their families near.

Ruth is preceded in death by her husband Lambert Sr. “Bert” and grandson Kevin Vande Kamp.

She is survived by five sons Gary (Gail), Lambert Jr. “Bob,” Ron (Kathy), Bruce (Carol), and Ross (Debbie); 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, and school classmate Fern Shea.

Visitation 5-8 p.m. Monday at Grandstrand Funeral Home in North Branch and one hour prior to service at church.  Funeral Service 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at Harris Covenant Church in Harris, Minnesota.

Interment at Oak Hill Cemetery in North Branch.

Condolences may be left online at

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