William R. Ruth


On the morning of Sept. 11, David Ruth, of Alliance, Ohio, received an e-mail from his brother, William, at the Pentagon. The e-mail included photos from the brothers' trip to their summer cottage in Ontario, Canada. They had returned to their homes the Sunday before.

About two hours after that e-mail, terrorists slammed a commercial airliner into the Pentagon. William Ruth, 57, an Army chief warrant officer and retired middle school teacher from Mt. Airy, Md., was killed. Since then, his family has found solace in remembering him.

He was a Marine who piloted helicopters in Vietnam, remained in the National Guard and was called to serve again in the Persian Gulf War. He taught school for about 25 years before retiring in 1997. He spent his spare time at the cottage in Canada, said his mother, Jane, and was a devoted fan of the Washington Redskins. He watched their games at the local VFW Post, where he served as post commander.

Ruth lost a son, Chad, in an automobile accident two years ago. Ruth's youngest son, Sean, 20, is a student at West Virginia University and serves in the West Virginia National Guard.

Profile courtesy of THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE.

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