Francis Walter Ruddle, 95, passed away on July 12, 2013 at his home in Lodi, CA.|
He was born on Nov. 19, 1917 in Wellington, KS to Walter and Clara Ann Ruddle. Francis married Pansy May Curry in 1940 in Riverside, CA. They were happily married for 55 years before Pansy passed away in February of 1995. Francis graduated from Pacific Union College in Angwin, CA in 1940 with a theology degree. He began working for the Kansas Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Conference in Garden City, KS in 1943. Francis was ordained as a minister in Wichita, Kansas in the same SDA church he had attended as a boy.
Francis pastored at SDA churches in Idaho, Washington, Montana and Northern California, including congregations in Berkeley, Crescent City, Vacaville, Manteca and Lodi. Francis retired in 1978 and continued to live in Lodi although he and Pansy spent two years away, pastoring in Franklin, W. VA. Upon returning to Lodi, he served as visiting pastor at Lodi Fairmont Church. He joined the Lockeford SDA Church later, where he attended weekly until his passing. He was involved with numerous guest-speaking engagements and conducted services at local nursing home facilities. He was a member of the Kiwanis Club in Escalon, CA for many years.
Francis is survived by four children: LaVonne (Joe) Ray, of Sebastopol, CA; Patricia (Carl) Rosich, of Lodi, CA; Carolyn Apigian (Joel) of San Francisco, CA and Clifford (Phyllis) of Santa Barbara, CA; and his nine grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. His wife, Pansy May Ruddle, preceded him in death. Of the seven children, only Bonnie Shakespeare, his youngest sister, of Lindsay, CA is living.
A memorial service will be held at the English Oaks SDA Church, 1260 Century Blvd., Lodi, CA at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 24.
Francis is remembered for his ready smile, kindness to all and love of Jesus. People and sharing his love for Jesus were his hobbies. He enjoyed travel and went around the world in 1983. With his Bible background, he enjoyed a visit to Bible lands in 1987. He surprised all when he parachuted at the age of 93. His greatest earthly joy was his beloved family.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to Leoni Meadows Camp, PO Box 400, Grizzly Flats, CA 95636 or Maranatha Volunteers International, 990 Reserve Dr., Suite 100, Roseville, 95678.
1 Peter 5:7 – Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you.
Published in Lodi News-Sentinel from July 19 to July 26, 2013