In loving memory of

Velene Kay Ruff
July 25, 1939 - January 29, 2019

Velene K. Ruff, 79, of Lost Nation, Iowa and formerly of Maquoketa passed away on Tuesday morning, January 29, 2019, at her home.

A celebration of Velene's life will be held at 11:30 A.M., Saturday, February 2, 2019, at Carson Celebration of Life Center in Maquoketa. Visitation will be held prior to the service from 9:30 A.M. to 11:15 A.M. at the funeral home. Cremation will follow the service and burial will be at the Bridgeport Cemetery, rural Maquoketa, Iowa, at a later date.

Velene was born on July 25, 1939 in Maquoketa, Iowa, to Ralph and Velma (Kintzle) Gertenbach. She attended Maquoketa schools. She married Clarence Ruff on May 26, 1956 at the Methodist parsonage by Rev. Nothdurft. To that union four children were born.

Throughout Velene's life she worked as a waitress at the Nickel Nook, Custard Bowl, The Spot Café, and the Green Mill Café. She co-owned and kept books for Ruff's Auto. She also held jobs at Pacific Coast Feather Company, Maquoketa Senior Center and DAC, Inc.

Velene enjoyed reading, playing Scrabble, completing jig-saw puzzles, counted cross-stitch, crafting, gardening, and collecting Santa Clauses. But most of all, she enjoyed spending time with friends and family.

Velene is survived by her children Bill (Nancy) Ruff of St. Peters, MO, John (Diane) Ruff of Preston, IA, and Deanna (Dante) Merrick of Lost Nation, IA; 9 grandchildren, Jennifer, Bridget (Matt), Lindsay (Bob), Amanda, Jackie (Emily), Kristin (DJ), Clarence (Alexa), Velene (Clifton), and Marianne; 16 great-grandchildren; and sisters, Carol Honigmann of Lost Nation, IA, and Joyce Rohrbaugh of WV. She was preceded in death by her husband Clarence, her parents, sister Sharon, son David, and grandson Butch.

In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, a Velene K. Ruff memorial fund has been established.

Online condolences may be left for the family at


Dee Ewing wrote on Feb 1, 2019:

"My sympathy and condolences for the family. Dee Ewing"

Allison Hahn wrote on Jan 31, 2019:

"I am so sorry to hear about Velene. I only knew her for a short time but she left a huge impact on my heart. Sending the family all my love and prayers or comfort during this time. "

Brnda DeMoss Groves & Family wrote on Jan 31, 2019:

"Deanna and Ruff Families Words cannot explain how sorry I am for the loss of your mom, grandma. What a special lady she was. Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers. May she rest in peace."

Andy and Cheryl Clark wrote on Jan 31, 2019:

"We were so sorry to hear about the passing of Velene. She will be missed by all who knew her. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you."

Nancy Parson wrote on Jan 31, 2019:

"So sorry to hear this news. She was a great lady. "

Barb Roe wrote on Jan 30, 2019:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with you"

ann clark adam wrote on Jan 30, 2019:

"to the Ruff family: i knew your mom as a friend and a schoolmate.At the time in 54-55 we had typing and shorthand classes together. I must say the best part of the classes was when the bell rang. we had the same teacher for three hours straight. But we both lived through it. I had the pleasure of meeting her by chance at City Limits. we sat and visited over our meal. My deepest condolences for a sweet, wonderful lady. May God help you through this difficult time with abounding love. Hugs to John and Diane as he come visit virgil and kathy at their house."

Janelle Proesch wrote on Jan 30, 2019:

"Thoughts and prayers are with you all."

Cathleen wrote on Jan 30, 2019:

"I am so sorry to hear about Velene, what a beautiful lady she was! You are in our thoughts and prayers! May God hold you all up during this difficult time. Cathleen Holtz"

Maureen wrote on Jan 30, 2019:

"Bill and Nancy: Sorry to hear of your loss. Cherish the many memories you have of her"

Barb Trenkamp wrote on Jan 30, 2019:

"So sorry for your loss."

Tara and Brooklynn Burroughs wrote on Jan 30, 2019:

"My thoughts and prayers are with the family. She will be missed!!"

Chalette wrote on Jan 30, 2019:

"Sorry for your loss thoughts and prayers."