Browse the obituary of Gerald G Ruder April 28 1941 December 8 2022 residing in Kirkwood, Missouri for funeral burial details. Write a message of sympathy or a last tribute to perpetue the friendship thread
April 28 1941 December 8 2022
Gerald George Ruder, 81, passed after midnight on December 8th after a brave and courageous 2+ year battle with terminal colon cancer. Preceded in death by his mother and father, George S. Ruder and Eva (nee Slamp). Survived by his one and only wife of 61 years Janet (nee Simmons), brother Lawrence (Karen), daughters Kristina Pongracz (Karl) and Diana Murphy (Robert), son Jamieson (Ashley), “adopted” and special son Lawrence Fields, beloved grandchildren Victoria, Courtney, Justine, and Luca, great-grandchildren Chase, Makenna and Tessa, and the cat who chose him, Callie. In a final act of selflessness and bravery, he donated his body to Washington University School of Medicine to help future generations of medical professionals and patients alike. Born in St. Louis on 4/28/41, he attended Seven Holy Founders, Lindbergh High School, then Mizzou for 3 ½ years before leaving school to marry mom. He grew up playing baseball with friends and hunting birds after school with his dad’s dogs in the woods behind his house on Sappington Road. He loved baseball and taught us all how to play, coaching our teams all the way through. Wonderful memories of him coaching both girls’ softball teams and throwing batting practice up at Long Elementary School until dark after a long day’s work will last forever. For years he took the girls to Sugar Creek and nourished their love for horses, which endures to this day. Basketball in the driveway with the kids was a daily thing for a long time. Dad even came after work to watch practices at the high school, barely ever missing a moment. He was also a tortured but dedicated Mizzou fan and, rightly so, hated KU and that stupid Jayhawk, Tyus Edney, and loved Norm Stewart and Anthony Peeler. He kept a cassette tape recording of Bill Wilkerson’s call of the 1976 Mizzou football win over #1 Ohio State. He was a guru when it came to the football Cardinals, who he held season tickets to for 20+ years, and could remember minute details about almost any game they’d played (much to our mom’s chagrin). He became a Rams PSL holder in 1996 and we shared many Sundays at the Dome watching the Rams, always getting a brat and a coke at Sanflippo’s on the way in, and his joy at winning the Super Bowl in 2000 was as immense as his dislike for Stan Kroenke. Dad loved to boat, ski and fish and had a love for Bull Shoals Lake, particularly around Oakland, AR. He shared a cabin with his dad and brother in Oakland for years, wired The Barn Café in town, and also made frequent trips with the family, owning multiple boats and teaching all of the kids to ski and fish. For years they made trips to visit Lenny and Barb Jaeger, hang out with the Koenig family, and enjoy the solitude that the lake had to offer, which dad cherished. Late in life we purchased a place in the town of Bull Shoals together and renovated it, turning it into our “COVID bunker” and escaping to the lake whenever we could during the height of the pandemic. He passed his love for the lake down to his kids who still visit and will continue to be reminded of his love for the water in every trip we take. Dad was a proud 61-year member of IBEW Local One as a journeyman wireman and was happy and eager to point out all the places he helped build around St. Louis, which included the East Terminal at Lambert Airport, West County Center Mall, and the “SafeCo Building” in Sunset Hills. He prided himself on the brotherhood he shared with his union pals and made colorful and lasting friendships along the way. He was old-school and hardly ever hired anyone to do a job for him – tackling anything that came up and again passing that knowledge down to his kids. As a child of depression-era parents, he hung onto money whenever possible and could figure out how to fix almost anything if given enough time. Dad loved cars and almost always kept a hot-rod in the garage, cycling between love affairs with Corvettes, Mustangs, Grand Nationals, Syclones, Rivieras, and of course his first car, a 1951 Ford which he never forgot. He could name a Corvette’s year on command, identifying the differences between them easily. It was a true obsession. He had a knack for making up quickly with kids and babies always loved him. He was quiet and kind, empathetic, sometimes to a fault – but better to be that way than the alternative. His 2+ year survival after diagnosis was aided by Dr. John Finnie and the caring staff at the Pratt Center at Mercy St. Louis, where he developed relationships with all his favorite nurses in the infusion center – particularly Kim who he always requested when possible. Their kindness and lighthearted humor kept him in good spirits all the way through treatment. We appreciate their efforts immensely. We will miss him terribly, but his excellent legacy and strength give us comfort. When asked what was most important to him in an interview earlier this year, he of course replied succinctly – “family”. He loved the big Christmas Eve party he and mom held every year at their house, which will feel empty without him. He will always be there in spirit, of course. In his honor, spend Christmas with your family and let them know how much they mean to you, as dad always did with us in his own quiet way.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Gerald G Ruder April 28 1941 December 8 2022.
Death notice for the town of: Kirkwood, state: Missouri