Johannes "Joe" Van Ruiten
Johannes Jacobus Van Ruiten, 79 passed away Monday, August 27, 2018. Services will be Saturday, September 1, at 2:00 PM in the Wheeler Mortuary Chapel, with Pastor Pete Jaramillo officiating. Burial will follow at Lawn Haven Gardens in Clovis, with Riley Van Ruiten, Joey Van Ruiten, Truman Belcher, Mike Etchepareborde, Ted Mesman and Bernie Mesman serving as pallbearers.
Johannes or "Joe" was born on March 18, 1939 in Bergen (NH) Holland to Tomas Van
Ruiten and Elisabeth “Bets” Veerman. He grew up on a dairy farm in Holland where he worked for his father milking cows by hand and other daily farm chores until the age of 18yrs.
In 1957 Joe travelled to America to work on his uncle's dairy farm in CA. During those years, he applied and became a US citizen. He eventually settled in Dora, NM where he bought a small family dairy.
On May 2, 1969 he married Rose Elanea Mirabal of Portales. They both moved to Dora and continued to operate the dairy farm where they had two children, a son Jacob, and daughter Elizabeth. While continuing to operate his small family dairy farm in Dora, Joe eventually built, operated, and sold four larger dairy farms in Roosevelt County.
Upon retirement, he continued his love for livestock by purchasing exotic animals from across the country. He enjoyed sharing them with others. Giving children rides gave him as much joy as he got from caring for his collection of exotic animals daily. Among the species he kept were buffalo, camels, zebu, ostrich, and several others. However, his favorite were his zebras. Joe was always known and described as "one of a kind." He was also known as a prankster. He would always wear a smile or pull a prank to make you smile.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Tomas and Bets Van Ruiten, and a sister Tonia. He is survived by his beloved wife, Rose Van Ruiten of Clovis, NM. They were nearing their 50 year wedding anniversary. He is also survived by their children Jacob and Karen Van Ruiten and their children, Zach Smith, Riley, Joey and Katie Van Ruiten of Portales NM, and Elizabeth and Matt Belcher and their children Madison and Truman Belcher of Texico NM. Also Johnny and Adela Van Ruiten and their daughter, Roxanne Van Ruiten of El Paso TX, Reit "Mary" Mesman of Farwell TX, and Tom Van Ruiten of WA, and four other siblings residing in North Holland, Jan, Henk, Gerard, and Ans.