Gertrude "Ruth" Haan

Gertrude “Ruth” Haan, age 88, of Parkersburg, Iowa, was born the daughter of James and Susan (Longshore) Gibbs on August 10, 1933, on a farm east of Earlville, Iowa. She graduated from Strawberry Point High School in 1951, attended Cottey Junior College in Nevada, Missouri, and later received her degree and teaching certificate from the Iowa State Teacher’s College in 1955. She then taught school in Tipton, Iowa, for one year and in 1956 began teaching in Bristow, Iowa.

Ruth was united in marriage to Paul Haan on December 26, 1956, at the Methodist Church in Strawberry Point, Iowa. The couple lived their entire married life in Butler County, Iowa, raising their two sons, Gerald and Irvin, on the family farm northeast of Parkersburg. Besides being a devoted wife and mother, Ruth taught in Parkersburg, substituted at many schools in the county, and resumed teaching in the Allison-Bristow schools until retiring in 1995. She taught social studies, science, facilitated the TAG program, and introduced children to the prairie at Butler Center. 

Ruth was in many activities and organizations throughout the years. She served as an Albion Township 4-H leader and was the first person from Butler County to be inducted into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame in 2002. She was a member of the Butler County Historical Society since 1978, a founding member of the Butler County Genealogy Society, a member of the Butler County Hall of Fame committee since 1978 and was president from 1989-1993. She was also a member of the the Butler County Conservation Commission, the Parkersburg Visioning Committee, the P.E.O. Sisterhood, the Cedar Falls chapter of DAR, the Northeast Iowa Weavers and Spinners Guild, the “Friends of Butler Center”, the Mayflower Society, the American Legion Auxiliary, and the Parkersburg Historical Society, having served as the society’s President and Secretary. She researched and compiled information for the Butler County Cemetery Directories and the Butler County Country School Directory. Ruth was instrumental in the renovation of the Little Yellow School House Museum in Allison, helped with historical research for Parkersburg Fun Days plays and was a co-creator of the Parkersburg Tornado Storybook.

In 1976, Ruth was honored as the Parkersburg Citizen of the Year, received the Merit Award in 1991 from the Iowa State Horticultural Society, was inducted into the Butler County Hall of Fame in 2008 and received the AP Falcon Fans of the Year in 2019 along with Paul.

Ruth was an active member of the Parkersburg Christian Reformed Church, having served as Sunday School teacher, Bible School Teacher, Sunday School Superintendent, Life Plus teacher, and was a member of the Sunshine Circle. 

In her spare time, she enjoyed gardening, painting, family genealogy, astronomy, and any activity that involved helping children learn more about themselves and their environments. Ruth was so proud of her grandchildren and loved them immensely. She enjoyed attending their activities and willingly shared her knowledge and passions with them. 

On Tuesday, June 21, 2022, Ruth passed away at Maple Manor Village in Aplington, Iowa, of natural causes. Ruth is preceded in death by her parents; one sister-in-law, Judy Gibbs; Gerald’s fiancée, Carol Heetland; and brother and sister-in-law, Harold and Lillian Haan.

Ruth is survived by her husband of 65 years, Paul Haan; two sons, Gerald Haan of Parkersburg, Iowa and Irvin (Amy) Haan of Parkersburg, Iowa; three grandchildren, Andrew Haan (Taylor Trueblood), Joshua Haan, and Emma Haan; four brothers, Frank Gibbs of Manchester, Iowa, Edward Gibbs of Strawberry Point, Iowa, Joseph Gibbs of Waterloo, Iowa, and John (Janet) Gibbs of New Albin, Iowa; one sister, E. Jane (Rick) Hazen of Salem, South Dakota; several nieces and nephews; and dear friends Pam Dohrn, Linda Randall and Carol Watters.

Funeral Services were held at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, June 28, 2022, at the Christian Reformed Church in Parkersburg, Iowa, with Pastor Russell Boersma officiating. Organist was Janet Johnson and she accompanied the congregation as they sang “In The Garden” and “Blessed Assurance”. Special music was provided by Janet Johnson and Marcia Allspach and they sang “Beyond the Sunset”. A saxophone solo was provided by Andrew Hann and he played “Amazing Grace”. The burial was held at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Parkersburg with Bryon Aswegen, Dennis Aswegen, Paul Watters, Peter Watters, Andrew Haan, and Joshua Haan serving as Casketbearers. Emma Haan served as an Honorary Casketbearer.

Visitation was held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on, Monday, June 27, 2022, at the Christian Reformed Church in Parkersburg and one hour before services at the church. Memorials may be directed to the family.  Redman Funeral & Cremation Services in Parkersburg was in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be left at



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