Cover photo for Ruby Van Kempen's Obituary
Ruby Van Kempen Profile Photo
1921 Ruby 2019

Ruby Van Kempen

August 5, 1921 — February 14, 2019

Starbuck, MN

Funeral services for Ruby Van Kempen of Starbuck, MN will be held Friday, February 22, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at the Minnewaska Lutheran Church in Starbuck, with Reverend Dr. Joel Rolf officiating. Visitation will be Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Starbuck Funeral Home in Starbuck and for one hour prior to services at the church on Friday. Burial will be in Minnewaska Lutheran Cemetery in Starbuck.

Ruby Deloris Aaberg, daughter of Hans and Clara (Dokken) Aaberg, was born August 5, 1921 at her home at 111 Wollan St. in Starbuck, Minnesota.  At the age of six, Ruby’s family moved to a farm outside of Starbuck. Ruby attended school until the 8th grade at a one room school house on highway 28 south of Starbuck. Following her schooling, Ruby took a job cooking for a construction crew and did limited traveling to job sites with a food wagon until she met her future husband.

She was united in marriage to Ervin Van Kempen on November 8, 1941 in Waukesha, Wisconsin.  Shortly after their marriage, Ervin joined the United States Army Air Corp. Their first son Ron was born in Champaign, Illinois. When Ervin was sent to California, Ruby and their three month old son moved there for a few months until he was deployed to the South Pacific.   Ruby moved to Morris, Minnesota to live with Ervin’s parents and waited three years for Erv to return from World War II.    Then Ervin worked with his father as a carpenter and built a house in Morris and a home in Benson. In 1951, the family moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota where they raised their family of five sons.  When Ervin retired, they moved back to Starbuck. Most of Ruby’s family still lived in the area and they enjoyed a full life with many Aaberg relatives and good friends.   Ervin died on October 26, 2018.  Ruby continued to live in Starbuck until the time of her death just a few blocks from the home where she was born.

Ruby enjoyed collecting dolls, adult coloring books, embroidery, needle point, gardening, playing bingo, cards, and taking trips to the casino.  She wrote beautiful poetry, had a bright mind and a kind heart.    Ruby loved traveling with her husband.  They were able to visit 47 of the 50 states in their 5th wheel. Most of all, Ruby enjoyed spending time with her family.

Ruby died on Thursday, February 14, 2019 at Holly Ridge in Starbuck, MN. She was 97 years old.

She is survived by three sons: Ronald (Joyce) Van Kempen of Brooklyn Park, Gary (Beth Beninga) Van Kempen of Brooklyn Park and James (Mary Kay) Van Kempen of Ham Lake; daughter-in-law, Connie Van Kempen of Apple Valley; 17 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; 12 great-great-grandchildren; special niece: Tootie Anderson of Starbuck and several nieces, nephews and cousins.  She was preceded in death by her husband Ervin; two sons: Steven and Michael Van Kempen and ten siblings: Cora Hoium, Myrtle Lee, Gladys Ward, Harris Aaberg, Arvin Aaberg, Florence Swenson, Warren Aaberg, Bernice Cretilli, Norman Aaberg and Dorothy Aaberg.

The family of Ruby Van Kempen would like to thank the wonderful staff at Holly Ridge in Starbuck for their compassionate care of Ruby.

Starbuck Funeral Home in Starbuck is in charge of the arrangements. To send condolences to the family please visit

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ruby Van Kempen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, February 21, 2019

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, February 22, 2019

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Minnewaska Lutheran Church

109 W Broadway St, Starbuck, MN 56381

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