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Ruth Marlea Holmes, age 97, of East Grand Rapids Ruth, passed away of an acute heart attack on Friday, January 12, 2018 at St. Mary’s Mercy Health Hospital, stating that she was ready to go.

Ruth was preceded in death by her loving husband and the father of her children, Douglas E. Holmes who passed away in 1977  married for 40 years and her beloved 2nd husband, Clem H. Block , who passed away in 2004 after being married for 25 years. She was also preceded in death by 3 of her children, Darla Silverthorn, Sharon Jernigan, and David Holmes. Ruth had 7 siblings, all of whom preceded her in death; Bill, Fred, Floyd, Ethel, Anna, Elizabeth, and Marilyn.

She is survived by 5 children, Douglas & Leressa, Daniel, Trudy, Rick & Ellen, and Cynthia Holmes, 11 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. In addition, she is survived by her step family, the Block’s, including 2 sons Ken & Beverly and Warren & Mary Geib, 8 grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren. 

They were the children of William and Katherine Hyde of Ohio. In addition to raising her children and some of her siblings after her mother’s death at age 40, Ruth did some modeling and taught fencing. Later in life she used her artistic ability to express her great appreciation for the beauty of God’s creation by painting landscapes which were in art shows and galleries throughout Michigan. She was interested in and enjoyed travel, art, music, poetry, health, politics, and reading until her death.

Ruth will be remembered as a sweet, loving, and generous woman with a keen mind and a kind and gentle spirit. She gave her love, and anything else you needed, to everyone in her family, to her many dear friends, caregivers, and to everyone that was associated with her.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, January 20th at Trinity Lutheran Church, 2700 Fulton Street E, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506.

The family asks for donations in lieu of flowers to Area Agency on Aging, 3215 Eagle Crest DR NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525. 

Honoring her wishes cremation will take place. To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Ruth’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:

Arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids. 


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  1. Warren on January 17, 2018 at 9:44 am

    Ruth Block was the only paternal grandmother my 4 children knew. Less than 2 years after she married Clem, she volunteered to babysit for 5 days her new 3,5,and 6 year-old grandchildren so we could go on our honeymoon. She brought 25 years of companionship, art, joy and love to my Dad. Her smile and determination will be missed.

  2. Heidi Church on January 17, 2018 at 10:10 am

    I will remember berries, milk, and sugar with my grandma. I will also remember how my grandpa loved her. I will remember the “unique” Christmas presents she wrapped up from her house for us. Finally I will always remember her each time I look at her paintings.

  3. Linda Hicks on January 17, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    Ruth was a kind, caring, intelligent, talented woman. She was a joy to visit these past few years. I was blessed to have the opportunity to get to know her. She will be missed.

  4. Mary K. Geib on January 17, 2018 at 11:25 pm

    Ruth had a sparkle that not many people maintain throughout their lives as she did. She was kind to everyone, and truly interested in what was happening in their lives. She is certainly a role model for leaving the world a better place. I will always remember her smile and her special hugs!

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