Iva Mae (Ivy) Myers Ruckman
May 25, 1931—June 8, 2021
Author Ivy Ruckman was born in Hastings, Nebraska, the daughter of Joy Uberto and Lena Osgood Myers. She considered herself lucky to have grown up in a quiet prairie town where at a young age she began writing the action-packed stories that ran nonstop in her head. Ivy graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English from Hastings College in 1953 and followed a family heritage of a long line of teachers by taking a job as a high school English teacher in Casper, Wyoming. She met Edgar Heylmun in Casper and they were married in 1955 and moved to Salt Lake City. They had two children and were later divorced.
Ivy taught English at Skyline High School from 1962-65, and creative writing from 1970-72. She married Dr. Stuart Allan Ruckman in 1965. Together they spent many years having adventures while raising three children: camping and boating at Flaming Gorge, skiing, swimming, and building a dream house. In the midst of her busy life, Ivy began writing full-time in 1974, contributing short stories and articles to children’s magazines. When Allan died in a mountain climbing accident, Ivy was inspired to write even more.
Ivy’s writing career included fifteen young adult novels and many awards. During her career, she made frequent school visits and spoke at writers’ workshops around the country. She received the Outstanding Alumni Award, Hastings College; Mountain Plains Library Association Literary Contribution Award for body of work; Nebraska Golden Sower Award; Sequoyah Children’s Book Award; Iowa Children’s Choice Award; and nomination for the prestigious Texas Bluebonnet Award. Ivy was a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Utah Children’s Literature Association, Friends of the Salt Lake County Library System, and the Willa Cather Memorial Foundation. Her best-known book, Night of the Twisters, was made into a movie.
Ivy traveled the world with her friends where she found herself writing stories in Mykonos, sleeping in tents in Kenya, yachting in Antiqua, shopping in Bangkok and Prague, sightseeing in London, and walking on the beaches of Aitutaki. She made friends wherever she went and loved having a good conversation over wine and cheese.
She retired to her house in Kayenta near Ivins, Utah where she loved to watch the sun coming up over Red Mountain, swim early in the morning in the Kayenta pool, and socialize with her friends at coffee hour. When she moved to Sterling Court Assisted Living, she still loved to sit on her balcony and imagine new stories.
Ivy is survived by her three children, Kim (Fred), Bret (Judy), and Stuart (Libby); her grandchildren Hillary, Hannah, Allie, and Ellis; cousin-sister Nance Meyer; many nieces and nephews; and her dear friends across the country, including Hastings, Salt Lake City, Kayenta and Sterling Court Assisted Living.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Unicef K.I.N.D. Project or The Nature Conservancy of Utah.
At her request, there will be no services.
Arrangements are made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S Bluff Street, St. George, Utah 84770, 435-673-2454. Friends and family are invited to sign Iva’s guestbook at www.spilsburymortuary.com.