Chesterton Tribune

John Wallace Ruge dies at 90

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John Wallace Ruge, 90 of Valparaiso, passed away Saturday, April 11, 2009 at the VNA Hospice Center.

He was born the son of Dr. Marx and Nellie (Grise) Ruge on October 15, 1918 in Gary.

He is survived by two children: Susan (Rick) Engles of Annapolis, Md. and Dr. John R. Ruge of Hinsdale, Ill. and six grandchildren, Sean, Ryan and Philip Engles, Mary, Nicholas and Shannon Ruge.

John graduated from Valparaiso High School, Valparaiso University and then from Valparaiso University Law School in 1942 at the top of his class. John maintained a private law practice in Valparaiso for many years, and was a popular elected official having served multiple terms as Porter County Clerk. He viewed his life as a public servant and not as a politician. He served as a Valparaiso City Judge and was elected to the Porter County Council in the twilight of his career. In fact, he was the oldest elected official in Indiana history at the age of 84.

John was a very civic minded individual with memberships in Valparaiso Kiwanis, Moose Lodge, B.P.O.E. Elks 500 and Toastmasters. He was also a volunteer for Meals on Wheels until the age of 85. He enjoyed golf and was Valparaiso’s city champion several times during his youth. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Valparaiso where he taught Sunday school for many years.

He received many honors including Sagamore of the Wabash by Governor Orr, 1983, Congressional Certificate of Merit, US Congress 1992, Counsel of the Indiana Attorney General, 1987, Legion of Honor Award, 50 years service Kiwanis Club.

A celebration of life for John will be held at Strongbow’s on Saturday, May 16 from 12, 3 p.m. in the Caroline Room. Memorials may be made to the Porter County Humane Society or Valparaiso Kiwanis Foundation.


Posted 4/14/2009