On August 25th, 2021 our daughter Inez (Nezie) Irene Cruz DeRuiter came to rest with God Our Father. Nezie was born to Armand and Kimberly Cruz on January 15, 2000. From birth she had health problems, but that did not slow her down. She was born with Hip Dysplasia, in which she wore a harness for a year of age. She was not able to crawl like normal babies, but with determination, she began to scoot on her bottom all over the house, and she was fast! At 10 she was diagnosed with scoliosis and wore a brace around her torso for two years, then scoliosis surgery due to the severity of the lateral S shape spine. After the surgery she only had the top three and bottom two vertebrates as pivot points. We often told her she was our hero because of how courageous she was during the entire process. In two days she was walking and sitting on her own. In five days she was off all pain medication. After the surgery on a follow up visit, Dr Oda told her to squat like a catcher and stand on her toes and she did! He was shocked and said it usually took 2 months or more for patients to accomplish such a feat. A funny story when she was walking down the hallway after the surgery at the hospital she had flatulence and would say Gotta fart, Doctors orders!
She attended St. Rose McCarthy School up to the 3rd grade, then transferred to Pioneer School, then on to Sierra Pacific High School graduating in 2018. She earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Communications in 2020 from the College of the Sequious. After graduating she wanted to join the workforce since she was undecided on a major. She worked at Piology as a Shift Lead, but decided to move on to plan for her future. She took a job with Hanford Joint Union High School working as an Instructional Aide at Hanford West High School. We were hoping that the job would encourage her to go back to school and earn her Bachelor's degree-and it did. According to her best friend (sister'') Kristina Spiker, she wanted to go back to college to earn a degree in Counseling. No matter what school, job, or function she made lots of friends and touched their lives with love and kindness.
Nezie loved life, and was very adventurous, preferring to be hanging outside, hiking, fishing or whatever. On March 4th 2020, she met the love of her life Dylan DeRuiter. She came in saying Mom, Im engaged on April 7th 2020 and showed me her ring, which was hand made with hot pink electrical clamps with a cows tooth-we knew it was love. She loved spending time with her man who was officially proposing to her on Oct. 1st on a trip to see her man Luke Combs. She enjoyed going hiking, fishing and to the houseboat at Kaweah Lake with Dylan, one of which is when she felt they had already exchanged vows with each other and God. If they were just together that's all that mattered to them-they both introduced themselves as husband and wife. Dylan, you are our son-in-law as much as she was a daughter-in-law to your parents, Jennifer and Darin DeRuiter.
Growing up she enjoyed our family vacations to Disneyland, which was quite often. There was not a ride she did not like. We were fortunate enough to have one last family vacation to Disneyland this past summer. It was a five day trip and not only the five of us, but Dylan and Hailey, my sons girlfriend. It was an enjoyable time and a vacation we will now treasure for the rest of our lives.
Nezie is survived by her mother and father Kimberly & Armand Cruz, brothers AJ [girlfriend Hailey Franklin] & Roman, her husband Dylan DeRuiter, her vuvu & vava Robert and Shirley Mendes, cousin/sister Kylie Pacheco. You will always be a son to us Dylan. She was preceded in death by her Buelo and Buela Manuel and Irene Cruz, Great-Grandparents Tony and Rose Mendes and her Uncle Robert Mendes Jr.
Our hearts are broken and bleeding and will never be the same. A big part of our lives has left us, to be with God our Father in Heaven. Healing will never be complete because we lost our little Nezie Pooh way too early. We miss and forever love you, our little Nezie Pooh.
A rosary will be held for Inez on Thursday, September 2, 2021, at 10:30am at The Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Laton, CA. Funeral Mass will follow at 11:00am at the Shrine. Burial will take place at Calvary Cemetery, Hanford, CA. Arrangements under the direction of Whitehurst McNamara Funeral Home, Hanford, CA.