Robert J. Ruane

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Robert J. Ruane, longtime Dunmore resident, died on Monday. He had been at the Gino J. Merli Veterans Center in Scranton since April of 2013. He was 92.

Bob was born at home on a small farm in the Nay Aug section of Roaring Brook Township, which was located on the land beneath the scenic Interstate 84/380 Bridge that leads out of Dunmore. He had wonderful stories of growing up there and always enjoyed walking on the trails in that area. His parents were the late Patrick and Mary Moran Ruane, immigrants from County Mayo. He lost his mother at age five, and much of his care during the Depression years fell to his beloved older siblings. He attended a one-room schoolhouse, and graduated from Dun­more High School. His first job was with the WPA. He served in the Army during World War II in the Pacific in California, Hawaii, the Philippines, New Guinea, New Zealand, Australia, Guam and Japan. For the rest of his life he had a keen interest in news from these places. He appreciated the GI education benefit that paid for his ICS degree in electrical engineering, and in the final months of his life, his care at Gino Merli. In the late 1940s his family relocated to Blakely Street in Dunmore. A neighbor family kept chickens and sold eggs. They also had an attractive tenant, Catherine Sweeney. One day Bob saw his chance and introduced himself on the pretext of buying eggs. They were married in 1951 and lived happily together until Catherine died in 2010. Any mention of eggs could get the Ruane family laughing. They lived on Roosevelt Street in Dunmore for more than fifty years and befriended neighbors new and old. Bob worked until his retirement in 1986 at Weston Instruments, now Lockheed-Martin, in Archbald and was a member of St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Church in Dunmore.

He was a patient and encouraging father to his children, Barry Ruane, South Gibson; Robert J. Ruane Jr. and wife, Monica, Barnesville; and Cathleen Vasserman and husband, Roman, New York City. He was a doting grandfather to Sara, Matthew, Emily and Allison Ruane, and Lucy and Cora Vasserman. He was also predeceased by an older brother and five older sisters.

The Ruane's enjoyed many vacations with Catherine's sister, Margaret Mary Matthews, her late husband, Edward, and their seven chil dren. Bob had a gentle wit and always enjoyed meeting new people. He loved dancing and was known to "cut a rug" at any celebration. He spent many years as chauffeur and handyman for his mother-in-law and older siblings. He enjoyed home improvement projects, tending his vegetable garden and long walks. Until he was 91, he was often seen striding around Dunmore and Scranton, walking stick in hand. After he lost his wife, Bob's memory faded and he suffered from symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. He never lost his cheerful, friendly nature, which en­­deared him to his caretakers.

The family thanks the many people involved in his care over the last few years, daughter-in-law, Monica, Shirley Phillips, Dr. Charles Deck, everyone at Archangel Adult Daycare in Dunmore, the wise staff at Gino Merli, and all at Regional Hospital of Scranton. They are also deeply grateful to neighbors on and near Roosevelt Street, who helped both Catherine and Bob in ways too numerous to count. Bob's was a quiet life, typical of his generation. A true child of the depression, he never sought any but the simplest pleasures. In his droll way, he would often remark, "Bottom shelf is fine for me." But anyone who knew him will agree that Bob Ruane was "top shelf" in every way.

Friends may call on Saturday at the Albert P. O'Donnell Funeral Home, 2025 Green Ridge Street, Dunmore. A blessing service will be conducted at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob's honor to any veteran's or Alzheimer's charity would be appreciated.
Funeral Home
Albert P O'Donnell Funeral Home
2025 Green Ridge St
Dunmore, PA 18512
(570) 344-1819
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Published in Scranton Times on Feb. 20, 2014
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