Gerri passed away peacefully surrounded by her family at VGH.  Gerri was born in Cape Breton and moved to Victoria in the early 1970s. She is survived by her husband Harry of almost 45 years and her three children Kris (Marni), Tara (John), Amanda (David) and grandchildren Bianca, Sophia, Alexander, Jozef, Aidan and Fiona. She also came from a large family with many siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews.

Gerri had a long nursing and health care career encompassing a variety of positions and hospitals. Her longest time being at the Gorge Road Hospital and retiring from VGH several years ago as the Unit Clerk on 5 North. She made several life long friends during her career and was very proud of the work she accomplished.

The home that the Ruitenbeeks created was full of laughter and love and included many foster children and friends of their children. In the early years of raising kids, Gerri could be found at the baseball park keeping score or at the church involved in an activity. Summer weekends were spent camping, hiking and spending time at her favourite place French Beach with good friends.

After her children grew up, her grandkids became her light and she took great delight in their lives and loved being an Oma. She would visit those out of province whenever she could and she and Opa have been a huge presence in the lives of the grandkids here.

Constantly at her sewing machine, she was always creating new designs. A quilt or dress from her was a special gift and to be treasured.

She lit up a room and was a force to be reckoned with. She loved helping people and had a huge heart that she shared openly.

Gerri loved God and spending time in His presence. She wasn’t shy about sharing her faith and speaking her truth. She touched many lives during her time here and will be greatly missed by all left behind. Her spirit, strength, and goodness will be with us in our hearts eternally.

A special thank you for the loving care and kindness of the Doctors, Nurses, and Staff at the VGH ICU.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019 at 3 pm at Colwood Pentecostal Church located at 2250 Sooke R0ad, followed by a reception in the church hall.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Victoria Hospital Foundation @ and follow the links in honour of a loved one or
Victoria Women’s Transition House Society @

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens

  • Sherry and Lee Pothier

    Harry…our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. I was so sad to hear of Gerri’s sudden passing. Sending you peace and love during your healing.

  • Christina Taylor

    Harry……our deepest condolences to you and your family. Sending healing prayers and comforting hugs. Dave and I are so sorry for your loss. Wishing you peace.

    Dave and Christina Taylor

  • Ben Rabkin

    My greatest condolences to family & friends. Gerri was a wonderful Aunt & beloved by so many. Always remember to cherish those close to you. Rest In Peace.

  • Trudy Falk

    Harry, So sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family. I will always cherish my memories of the years working with Gerri at GRH and VGH. Trudy Falk

  • Pat Scarrow

    So, so sad to hear of Gerri’s passing…… I have such wonderful memories of working with her since the late 70’s when our kids were young and becoming friends over the years at GRH My hear aches for you and your family Harry at this very sad time….

  • Dick Grosvenor

    Our sincere condolence to you Harry & Family.

    Dick & Shelby

  • Cal Fleming

    I am shocked and saddened to hear of your loss
    I will always remember Geri for her wonderful smile and laughter. Take care old Buddy

    Love Cal and Maria

  • Karenn Lewis

    Dear Harry and family
    Our heart goes out to you all. We are SO SORRY for your loss.
    Gerry walked right into our heart
    the minute we met.
    She truly was a gem. No one else
    was so warm, vivacious, and filled
    with joy and contentment as Gerry.
    We were all SO blessed to have known
    her. May father God comfort you right
    when you need it.
    Dave and Karenn Lewis

  • Faith Magwood

    Harry, I am so sorry to hear of your loss of Gerri.
    She was a lovely lady. My sincere sympathy.

  • Ann Laffin

    My condolences to the Family. My prayers are with you.

  • Vera Conarroe

    Harry… our thoughts are with you and your family upon your loss of Gerri.
    Happy memories of your life together will comfort you in years to come.
    Friends and family are so important in life. Take care..

    Stu and Vera Conarroe

  • Hilly Laffin

    Harry, Kris, Amanda, Tara – it is very sad the loss of your mom and my sister. I have great memories of Gerri. She showed her true kindness when she took our daughter Carlee in at Christmas time when Carlee was alone in Vancouver. We will never forget that. Our thoughts and love go out to you all.
    Love from Hilly, Ronda, Sam, Chantal.

  • Don Park

    May 18 2019.

    Harry and Family

    My thoughts are with you in your time of loss old friend.

  • Stanley Laffin

    Harry, Kris, Amanda, Tara, and families.

    Thinking of you all; our hearts are broken. Sending all our love, we are so sorry for your loss. We will treasure our memories of our beautiful sister.

    Stanley and Michele xo

  • Leon Laffin

    Harry, Kris, Tara, and Amanda.
    There are no words to express how deeply sorry we are for your loss. Even though we haven’t spent a lot of time with each other, Gerri was always loving towards me and we always had great times and laughs together when she would come to Cape Breton for visits. I will miss my sister dearly, but will always hold a piece of her in my heart.
    Love you all,
    Leon, Danette and Taylor

  • Bernie and Beth Laffin

    To Harry, Chris, Amanda and Tara.

    May it comfort you to know that our sympathy and caring thoughts are with you all. And may each of you always cherish the beautiful memories stored deep in your hearts. I dwell on all the fond memories that I have had growing up with Gerri. For all of you, may the fond memories of her as a wife, a mother, and a grand-mother bring you comfort during this hard time in your life. Our heart and prayers go out to you all.

  • Lizzie Boyd-Martins

    Seashells remind us, that every passing life leaves behind something beautiful.
    My condolences to Harry and the family…. Gerri will be greatly missed.

  • Winnie Silvester

    So sorry to hear of Gerri’s passing. Thinking of all of the family at this difficult time.
    Our sincere condolences,
    Bill and Winnie Silvester

  • Jim and Mona MacIntosh

    Dear Harry and Family,
    So shocked and saddened to hear of Gerri’s passing.
    She was such a good woman who left her mark on so many people at GRH.
    Still remember her vibrant laughter when sitting with friends in the cafeteria.
    Rest in peace, Gerri.

  • Florence Sullivan

    So sorry to hear this news; worked with Jerri at the Gorge Road Hospital for many years. Good times. RIP.

  • Kathryn Bergstrom

    I have many, many great memories of my former neighbour and friend – and her family! My sincerest condolences. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Bill & Irene van Schagen

    To Harry,
    Bill and I are so sorry for your loss, our hearts go out to you and your family.

  • Cheryl and John Hunter

    Our deepest condolences to Harry and all the family.
    We know that she will be greatly missed by
    It was our great pleasure to know her and her
    passing leaves a big hole.
    Thank you Gerri.
    Cheryl and John Hunter

  • Judy Becker

    Our deepest sympathy Harry, to you and your family. So many treasured memories working with Gerri at the GRH and on 5N. A life so well lived and loved,
    Judy Becker

  • Arlene Stephenson

    So sorry Harry and family,
    Gerri and I had many chats during our years working at the Gorge.
    She was a sweet lady and will be missed.

  • Jerry and Joe Gilbert

    My deepest condolences to the family.

  • Michael Barber

    Gerri was a wonderful woman and she will be greatly missed.

    Michael and Pauline Barber

  • Megan Hunter

    Gerri may have been my friends’ mom, my soccer coach’s wife but Gerri was also my teacher, my shoulder, my friend. There was always safety in Gerri’s kitchen, she allowed us to be kids, be creative and have fun! She was always up for a card game, a chat and especially a hug! She expressed her love, her faith and her complete passion for her family with so much intensity it was infectious. Gerri taught me the power of prayer and the strength of love. Gerri was a remarkable woman, I am honoured to have been in her life. My deepest condolences to Harry, Kris, Tara, Amanda and families, Gerri was truly amazing.

  • Pat Ferguson

    Unbelievable sadness, I will always remember her.

    Pat Ferguson

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