Johnie Ruhr

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  • "Johnie was a very good friend, when I was growing up. He..."
    - James Hawes
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Johnie J. Ruhr, 96, of Atlantic, passed away Tuesday, July 1, 2014, at the Heritage House in Atlantic.
Johnie was born at home in Felton, Minnesota on June 16, 1918, to Henry and Mabel (LeFleur) Ruhr. He graduated from Atlantic High School in 1939. Following graduation he enlisted in the United States Army on Sept. 17, 1941, and was stationed in Iceland. Johnie was later transferred to the United States Air Force and was stationed in England and France. He was discharged on Sept. 8, 1945, with a rank of Corporal and received two Bronze Stars and a Good Conduct Medal.
On June 16, 1946, he married Nelda J. Knight at the Adair Presbyterian Church.
Johnie began working at Coast to Coast and later began farming with Carl Goeken and the Hunt family. In the years to follow he farmed on his own in Cumberland, Lewis, and Atlantic. In his forties he began working for the Iowa Department of Transportation in the Maintenance Department, and retired at the age of 65. His working days didn't stop though as he continued working as a handyman for the Cass County Fairgrounds.
At home, Johnie enjoyed TV, fishing, cards, and going to McDermott Auction. He was such a regular at McDermott Auction that they reserved the number 5 for him. His children and grandchildren also proved to be entertaining as they spent many hours attending music and sports activities. He also delivered Meals on Wheels for years. He was a faithful member of the United Church of Christ, and was active in the Lions Club.
Johnie said that his most impressive accomplishment in 96 years was being married to his wonderful wife, Nelda whom he was blessed with by God for 68 years. The shared experiences, children, and grandchildren are proof of the love and devotion they had for each other.
Johnie is survived by his wife, Nelda of Atlantic; his children, Rita (the late Ron Utz) Utz of Olney, Ill., Paul (Janet) Ruhr of Atlantic, Lori (Dallas) Paulsen of Atlantic, Kevin (Joann) Ruhr of Glenwood: 34 grandchildren, great and great-great grand children; and his nephew, Edwin Mathisen.
He is preceded in death by his parents; grandson's, Harley and Craig Ruhr; a sister, Cleo Mathisen; and son-in-law, Ron Utz.
Funeral services will be held at 3:30 p.m., Thursday, July 3, at the United Church Christ in Atlantic, with Pastor Nancy Jensen, officiating.
Interment will be in the Atlantic Cemetery.
Visitation with the family will be from 2 p.m. until the time of the service on Thursday at the United Church of Christ.
The family suggests memorials to the United Church of Christ and the Heritage House.
Roland Funeral Service of Atlantic, is caring for Johnie's family and his arrangements. Condolences may be left at
Funeral Home
Roland Funeral Services
204 E 5th St
Atlantic, IA 50022
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Published in Atlantic News Telegraph on July 3, 2014
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