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Rene Ruiz

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Rene Ruiz Obituary


René Ruiz was born in Santa Clara, Cuba to the late Crescencio and Rosa Ruiz. A graduate of the Jesuit Institute of Santa Clara and the University of Havana, René received his Doctorate of Jurisprudence and was a professor at the University of Havana. He began a long, distinguished career in law and become a partner at the law firm of Fernandez, Ruiz and Ferrer. He worked as a public defender for the State Court in Havana. René represented the Cuban Government under Fidel Castro as a director in the Department of Housing. In 1961, he received a provisional permit to travel to the U.S. to represent boxer Benny "The Kid" Paret in a legal case. René never returned to his native Cuba. In order to subsist as a political refugee in the United States, René took numerous jobs in Miami, Florida. As a Cuban professional, he eventually secured a position in Washington, D.C. as a translator and legal representative for the court system. He later moved to New York City where he worked for the Welfare Department during the day and studied at New York University at night earning a Doctorate of Romance Languages and Literature. In the late 1960s, René began teaching at Bowling Green State University as a professor where he remained until retiring in 1994 as Professor Emeritus.

He is survived by his loving wife, Diane (Goddu) Ruiz; sons, René (Grisel) Ruiz and Arturo (Mary) Ruiz; grandchildren, Michelle, Jennifer, Nicole and Kristina; two great grandchildren; mother-in-law, Marie R. Goddu; brother-in-law, Roger (Kate) Goddu; Denise Winston; caregiver, Ann Marie Woolwine, and many beloved nephews, nieces, and cousins. René was preceded in death by brothers, Rafael "Felo", Luis, and Victor "Keko" Ruiz. A true American patriot and an incredibly special man, René will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Visitation will be Thursday, from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at the Walker Funeral Home, 5155 Sylvania Ave. (west of Corey Rd.), where a scripture service will be held at 7:30 p.m.

Funeral Mass and burial will take place in Miami, Florida.

Memorials are suggested to the Dr. René Ruiz Scholarship, BGSU Foundation, Inc. Mileti Alumni Center, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio 43403-0055.

Online condolences can be left at

Published in Toledo Blade on May 4, 2014
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