Donald Lester Ruckle

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Donald Lester Ruckle, 66, passed away on Friday at home in Hunlock Creek, surrounded by his family who helped care for him as he braved the final days of a long and difficult cancer battle.

Born Oct. 17, 1946, in Shickshinny, he was the son of the late Lester and Marguerite Ruckle. Donnie worked at a local garage from the age of 12 and developed a lifelong love of cars and equipment. After graduation from Northwest Area High School, he worked for Sheldon Hess contractor and became skilled at heavy equipment operation.

At age 19, Donnie joined the U.S. Army, where he specialized in heavy equipment again. He was sent to Vietnam on Veteran's Day 1966, where he worked with and taught heavy equipment at Cam Rank Bay with the operating engineers. After returning from Vietnam in 1967 and marrying his high school girlfriend, he was stationed at Fort Belvoir, Va., as an equipment instructor. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Expert Rifle, Good Conduct and the Republic of the Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Donald was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Glenda Maransky, of Sweet Valley; and by his parents-in-law, George and Carolyn Wesley.

Surviving are his wife, the former Lora Wesley, with whom he celebrated his 45th wedding anniversary on Nov. 25, 2012, while on a cruise to the Caribbean. Also surviving are a daughter, Krista Weaver and husband, Douglas, Orangeville; grandson Caleb; son Ryan Ruckle, Dauphin; daughter Kara Ruckle, Glen Lyon; brothers, Allen Ruckle and wife, Helen, Shickshinny; Robert Ruckle and wife, Terrie, Shickshinny; sister-in-law Dorinda McHenry and husband, Terry, Hunlock Creek; brother-in-law Martin Maransky, Sweet Valley; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Donnie was employed as a mechanic at Martz Trailways and Caterpillar, followed by 30 years at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and most recently as a transportation construction inspector for Midatlantic Engineering.

For most of his lifetime, Donnie was involved with restoring cars and enjoying car shows and cruises with friends; he won awards for his meticulous work on his cars. He and his wife enjoyed traveling in the U.S. and Canada and several years of vacation and parties with close friends.

Donnie was considered by many as a true friend and had great respect for his family, friends and property.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday from Clarke Piatt Funeral Home Inc., 6 Sunset Lake Road, Hunlock Creek. Military honors will follow the service at Oakdale Cemetery, Hunlock Creek. Friends may call from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the or the Medical Oncology Prescription Fund in Kingston.
Funeral Home
Clarke Piatt Funeral Home Inc
6 Sunset Lake Rd
Hunlock Creek, PA 18621
(570) 256-3141
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Published in Times Leader on June 16, 2013
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