Jacqueline (“Jackie”) Virginia Fay DeRuiter passed away peacefully in her bed at The Meadows in Napa, CA on Sunday morning, June 6, 2021. She was 80 years old.
Jackie was born on October 17, 1940 in Newark, NJ to George and Gerda Fay. She graduated from Livingston High School in 1958, then graduated from the teacher’s program at Montclair State University where she had received a full scholarship.
On June 30, 1962 she married Kenneth DeRuiter after a two-year engagement. Jackie was 16 years old when she began corresponding with Ken through mutual friends while Ken was stationed in Turkey in the Navy. She enjoyed all the traveling that came with her husband’s Naval career, including living in Athens, GA, San Diego, CA, Pearl Harbor, HI, Dallas, TX, Springfield, VA and Atsugi, Japan. She and Ken traveled extensively together on tours of duty, all over Europe and Asia.
Jackie worked as a substitute teacher early in their marriage, but proudly identified her lifetime occupation as homemaker. When Ken retired from the Navy in the 1980s, and bought Christian bookstores in Northern NJ, Jackie supported Ken by managing one of the busiest stores. She and Ken moved to Oak Brook, Illinois when he sold the stores 10 years later to become executive director of Inter Varsity Press, a Christian publisher. When Ken was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the 1990s, the couple moved permanently to Napa, CA to be near their daughters who were living in Napa (Christa) and San Francisco (Bethany).
Jackie was an avid reader and collected art on her travels around the world. She loved to read the Bible and regularly led Bible studies with people in her church and in her neighborhood. She was a champion of education, especially for children and women. She loved teaching children the stories of the Bible in Vacation Bible School and The Good News Club.
Jackie was a beloved and esteemed member of Chapter XM of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (“P.E.O”) in Napa for 26 years, and served as president in 2014-2015. P.E.O. is about women helping women. Her chapter was instrumental in getting educational scholarships and loans for dozens of women during her years as member. She was also a proud member of the Ivy Rebekah Lodge #23, aspiring, with other Rebekahs, to emulate the character and virtues of notable women in Biblical history. Rebekahs are "famous for their loyalty, patriotism, for civic and national services, for humanitarianism, and for devotion to God and the cause of righteousness among mankind."
Jackie is survived by her daughters, Bethany DeRuiter (and spouse, Sally Gillespie) and Christa Peatman (and spouse, Scott Christopher); grandsons, Billy Peatman and Jake Peatman; and her birth grandson, Christian Peppler. She is preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth DeRuiter.
An informal graveside gathering is scheduled for Tuesday, June 15 at 1:00 pm at Tulocay Cemetery. All are welcomed to attend. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to The Queen of the Valley Foundation at www.queensfoundation.org/donations. The family would like to thank the caregivers and staff at The Meadows (both independent living and skilled nursing) for their tireless dedication. The family is also grateful for to AnchorHealth Hospice in Novato who provided comfort and gentleness to facilitate Jackie’s final peaceful transition.
Condolences and words of sympathy may be sent to the family online at www.tulocaycemetery.org.
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