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
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
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.