Iva Mae (Ivy) Myers Ruckman

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.



Second Visitation




Guest Book

22 Responses

  1. I am so sorry to hear of Ivy’s passing. I have always been inspired by her boundless spirit and joie de vivre. I will miss her dearly. Bret & Judy, Kim & Fred and Stuart and Libby, please accept my sincere condolences. Your mom will always hold a special place in my heart.

  2. What a treasure to know her. I have a message from Ivy on my phone a few days before her passing. She sounded strong and she sounded ready for the next adventure. Always gentle, always kind. My condolences to her family land all who knew and loved her.

  3. I’m sorry I never had the opportunity to meet you. But your history is amazing and I’m glad you are part of my family.

  4. We are saddened to learn of Ivy’s passing. Ivy was our dear friend and neighbor in Kayenta. We always enjoyed our many happy hour conversations and stories of her life and travel experiences. We shall miss you, but always remember you and our happy times. Our sincere condolences to her children and families.

    Aloha Ivy.

    Charlie and Kathy Wood

  5. Kim, I am sorry to see that your Mom has passed. I only knew her through her writing and through knowing you, but I appreciate her talent and her wonderful daughter. My deepest sympathy.

  6. Oh I just love Ivy Ruckman! She was such a delight! Just a dear soul. My youngest daughter loved her books, and she was a big fan of Night of the Twisters. Ivy gave her a copy of her very own and my Claire could not have been more thrilled. I loved having her stop by my desk to visit when she was on her way to other appointments. It was always fun to visit with her. We’ve lost a good one. Rest in peace, dear Ivy.

  7. What a life she led! It was so easy for me when I first met her to instantly fall in love with her joyful personality and beautiful smile. I know the days ahead will be hard as grief is a process but know that everyone that loved Ivy is here to help you heal.

  8. Ivy was our neighbor and friend for many years. Brett and Stuart rock climbed often with my son Gary. I know how hard it is to lose someone you love and my heart goes out to the family during this difficult time. Love Joyce

  9. We love Ivy! My husband and I met in her creative writing class at Skyline High School. Many years later we knew her again when we moved to Kayenta. I enjoyed having coffee with her and an occasional movie night. She was so upbeat, charming, and fun-loving. I admired her talented story-telling and successful writing career. My sincere condolences to her wonderful family.

  10. I am so sorry to learn of Ivy’s Passing. I met Ivy in the 1980’s when I produced a KUTV newsmagazine story about UFO’s that featured her husband, Dr. Alan Ruckman. I later worked with Ivy with optioning one of her teenage story books for developing a film screenplay about UFO’s as well. I remember Ivy as a very bright, knowledgable, and talented writer who was wonderful to work with what little time we spent together.

  11. I knew Ivy later in her life in Kayenta. I now live ind Portland, OR and just heard of her death. She was a treasure! Such a positive person and always interested in others. I know you miss her.

    My condolences…

    Ila Craig

  12. I am saddened to hear of Ivy’s passing and send condolences to you Kim and your siblings and all of the family. We all lived once on the same street Apple Blossom Lane in Salt Lake and later she lived near my mom in Kayenta. She was my moms (Jean Morton) best friend for so many years. I loved seeing Ivy always as she had a beautiful smile, a kind and gentle spirit and was such fun no matter what we were doing. We all loved and have some of her children books also that she generously gave me for my children to read. What a fantastic life she lived and I know how much you will all miss her.

  13. Just arrived from a trip, and heard the shocking news of out GREAT FRIEND IVY!
    In fact, I had called her before my trip! She was to let me know a good time to visit her 😪
    Everyone that knew her loved her. She was a very special lady! She will always be missed! She loved all 3 of her children very much and was always talking about them! As a neighbor, I loved having her across the stteet and really missed her when she went to Sterling 😪🌵
    Our hear-felt sympathy goes out to all of her family; as she has traveled to another world ! Please come by to see us when you are in Kayenta!
    Our Very Best Regards,
    Sally & Sam Blimling and Patrick Kelly ( our son)

  14. Mrs. Ruckman was my teacher at Skyline and I credit her with teaching me a love for the English language. As a young father (but at the time not knowing of her prolific writing career), I saw a book called “Night of the Twisters” by Ivy Ruckman and said the myself, “Hey! That was my teacher!”. I bought it and read it to my children. It became their favorite book. Then when the movie came out, I bought it and it too became one of their favorite movies.
    During the last 20 years of my career, I enjoyed being, though not a creative writer, a technical writer. Mrs. Ruckman, thank you!

  15. Mrs. Ruckman was my teacher at Skyline and I credit her with teaching me a love for the English language. She was one of those teachers you want to find later in life and tell her “Thank you”. As a young father (but at the time not knowing of her prolific writing career), I saw a book called “Night of the Twisters” by Ivy Ruckman and said the myself, “Hey! That was my teacher!” I bought it and read it to my children. It became their favorite book. Then when the movie came out, I bought it and it too became one of their favorite movies.
    During the last 20 years of my career, I enjoyed being, not a creative writer, but a technical writer though being creative was often part of it. Mrs. Ruckman, thank you!

  16. Ivy was a good friend and teaching colleague at Skyline High School. She got rave reviews from both teachers and students. I always looked forward to fun and meaningful conversations.

    Her two boys Stuart and Brett became friends I shared climbing passion with. I wish Ivy’s family all the best.

    Sincerely, Ted Wilson

  17. I admired Ivy greatly. She was so socially gracious and such a dear friend. She encouraged me in my own writing and I don’t know if I would have kept at it without her validating support. She was brilliant and incredibly talented and it was a privilege to know her. She was totally a treasure and heaven has gained a bright star. Hugs and my love to her family and friends. May your happy memories bring you comfort at this time of grief.

  18. I am sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. I saw this when I was looking her up with my son – I have an autographed copy of Melba the Brain I received in a middle school class in Sandy, Utah in 1983. My son and I are reading Melba together and thoroughly enjoying it. We wanted to express our delight in this story and our gratitude for the book that I was so proud to own and have held onto all of these years. Peace to all of you. Your mother’s legacy lives on.

  19. Ivy Ruckman was a gem. I am so sorry to hear of her passing. She was generous with her time and always was willing to talk to aspiring writers, children and any readers. I remember first meeting her when she came to Rowland Hall to speak to the students on the old campus. That must have been in 1978. She was a wonder then and when she visited the Lower School library years later when Ellis was there, she was just as wonderful. Stuart, Libby and Ellis, I send you love and sympathy. She led a good and long life, and her presence will be missed.

  20. Ivy was such a special person/friend. We used to live across the street from each other and she tended my son Jeff once in a while. I remember Stuart and Jeff used to play superman together. . There were also swimming lessons. We all went boating, fishing and camping. We have wonderful memories. We still got together after she moved from Apple Blossom and visited her often when she was down in St. George.
    She had such a beautiful spirit and will be missed.
    Our love and sympathy go out to her family.

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