The hardest thing I have ever had to write.

PO1 David Ruth, USN (Ret.)
Born in Bisbee, Arizona on Aug. 18, 1946
Departed on Feb. 21, 2010 and resided in Warner Robins, GA.

Known as “Jackhammer” to his friends and co-workers, David Whitney Ruth died at the age of 63 on Sunday, February 21, 2010, after a hard-fought battle with cancer. He passed in the peace of his home with Rosemary, his loving wife of twenty-seven years, at his side.

Born in Bisbee, Arizona, to David L. and Cora W. Ruth on August 18, 1946, David was the eldest of three sons. He graduated from Bisbee High School in 1965, and soon thereafter joined the United States Navy. It was while serving that he met Rosemary, whom he married on August 27, 1983.

A combat veteran of the Vietnam War, David retired from the Navy in 1985 after twenty years of proud service, having attained the rank of Petty Officer 1st Class. Subsequently, he continued to serve his country as a Civil Servant first at Fort Carson, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and then at Robins Air Force Base, where he transferred in 2000 and from which he retired in 2008 due to illness.

An extraordinarily creative man, David had a lifelong passion for woodworking, metalworking, and machining, as well as love of the art of calligraphy. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, swimming, was an avid reader as well as a motorcycle enthusiast and collector. However, of all his passions, none was greater than that for his family, to whom he was absolutely dedicated.

He will forever live in the hearts of his wife, Rosemary; children, Joseph, David, Mark, Julia, Shauna and Michelle, along with their significant others; eighteen grandchildren; brothers, Charles (known as “Bill”), and Jeffery; numerous nieces and nephews; lifelong friend, Ed Liest, and many other close friends and associates. His parents, David and Cora Ruth, and his ex-wife, Sandy, predeceased him.

At the request of the deceased, there will be no public service. In lieu of flowers or other memorials, the family respectfully requests that any such considerations be given to a local hospice organization. The family wishes to express special thanks and appreciation to the staff and caregivers of the Heart of Georgia Hospice.

So long, Pops. I love you.

I’m so sorry for your loss.

Woeg, my heart goes out to you and your family. Your dad sounds like a wonderful man.

So he met Rosemary in the Navy, married someone else, but then they found each other again?

I’m so sorry for your loss. Your dad will always be with you.

Six kids and eighteen grandkids; a wonderful legacy to go along with a wonderful life.

I’m so sorry, and will have you and your family in my thoughts. Thank you for sharing with us about his life.

My condolences on your loss.

I know a DVM here in Tucson named Scott Ruth, and that your dad’s from Bisbee. Wondered if there was any relation. You’re not obliged in any way to answer.

Beautifully written.

So sorry for you and your family’s loss.

My thoughts go with you and your family during this difficult time.

I’m sorry for your loss, Woeg.

My condolences, Woeg.

I am so very sorry. There really isn’t anything else that can be said. (((hugs)))

Oh Woeg, I’m so very sorry.

I don’t know you at all, Woeg, but FWIW, for how it may comfort you in some tiny way at this difficult time, your closing words, “So long, Pops. I love you,” brought real tears to my cheeks. Instantly.

This is a beautiful eulogy, to be sure. But that personal goodbye to your father, those six brief words, touched me in a way that nothing in your formal preceding prose, did. They just grabbed at my gut and yanked.

Deepest condolences, from a stranger who’s honored to share just a wee humble portion of your sorrow.

Had the same effect on me. So, so sorry for your loss. My thoughts to your family.

I had the same reaction. I read the eulogy and thought it was beautifully written, then read the last words and instantly got a lump in my throat.

Woeg, I’m sorry. Your father sounded like a wonderful man. Remember the good times, and cherish his memory.

A great tribute to a good man.
I have always believed that the measure of a man is to look at his children.
Judging by what you wrote, you dad was one hell of a guy.

My thoughts go out to you and your family at this time of need.

That was beautifully written. He sounds like a great man.

I’m so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

I am sorry for your loss.

Hey all, sorry for the delay in getting back, but the last few days have been crazy, trying to take care of all the legal aftermath of Dad’s passing. Thankfully, since we knew this was all coming, Mom and I had a lot of our ducks in a row and things have been flowing easily, for the most part. We had some small trip ups in one of their retirement plans, but that has thankfully now been handled, so Mom won’t have to worry about how to pay her bills now that her income will be drastically reduced.

@freckafree: Sorry for the confusion there - my dad met my mom (Rosemary) after both their respective divorces to other people. Legally, he was my step-dad, but he raised me since I was 5 and really has always just been Dad to me. My step-siblings (one brother and one sister) have always just been siblings, and the rest of the family feels the same way. I am also one of those blessed few who can say that my step-dad and my bio-dad didn’t hate each other. My bio-dad is a recovered alcoholic, and would be the first to say that my step-dad was way more a dad to me than he was during my life. He’s been sober now for over ten years, and in those years he and my dad became very good friends.

@Alice the Goon: It’s very possible! We’ve had all sorts of cousins coming out of the woodwork to offer condolences - it’s been really nice connecting with family, some of which we didn’t even know we had.

@Everyone: Thank you so, so much for your thoughts and condolences. Strange as it is to say, it is almost a relief now that he has passed. The docs felt they had exhausted all forms of treatment last November, and so it had been nothing but pain management since then. Watching a man who had always been the strongest man I’ve known slowly deteriorate was a constant agony - thank god for the care of hospice, who made it far more bearable.

Last night, I got the first full night’s sleep I’ve had in almost a year and a half - every night has, till now, been full of stress and worry, and in the last three months, filled with calls to help my mom get dad settled down during his less lucid moments. I find comfort knowing he is no longer hurting, and that Mom can now focus on healing and moving on. Again, thank you all.