Almanac

Community - March 19, 2014

Obituary: Joyce Ruys, 89, volunteer

Joyce West Ruys, a former resident of Woodside, died Feb. 25 after a short illness. She was 89.

A Midwestern girl with Czechoslovakian heritage, Ms. Ruys was born in Sioux City, Iowa, where she attended Central High School and later graduated from nursing school.

While working as a nurse in Los Angeles, she met a young doctor, Frank C. Ruys, and they were married in 1947. The newlyweds moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and eventually settled in a ranch house in Woodside and raised five children.

A community volunteer, she spent years fundraising for her favorite projects, including Woodside Elementary School, Sequoia Hospital, the Peninsula Symphony, Friends of the Woodside Library, and other organizations.

During her term as president of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Peninsula Symphony, she initiated a successful Octoberfest called The Heurigen, an Opera Ball, and fashion show, and hosted many of the guest performers in her home.

After moving to Palo Alto in her later years, she volunteered at the Palo Alto Parental Stress Hotline and donated generously to many charities.

Ms. Ruys is survived by her children, Elaine Ruys of Portland, Oregon, Patty Ruys Stearns of Trinidad, California, Willem Tim Ruys of South Bend, Indiana, Jennifer Gill of Redwood City, and Renee Iverson of Kirkland, Washington; brothers Richard West and Larry West; sister Marian Deal; six grandchildren; and one great-grandson. She was preceded in death by her husband, Frank C. Ruys, and brother Jack West.

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