Kenneth Edward Ruddy Sr.

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1925 - 2018 Kenneth Edward Ruddy, devoted father, grandfather, great grandfather, and husband of sixty-six years to Therese Roane Ruddy, passed away on July 13, 2018 at the age of 92 in Beaumont, Texas. The oldest of three children, Ken was born to Elsie Frankey and Judge Edward Michael Ruddy on November 29, 1925 in St. Louis, Missouri. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers Judge James Ruddy of St. Louis, Missouri and Neal Ruddy of Alton, Illinois. Ken is survived by his children, Sharon and husband Eddie Neusel of Austin; Debbie and husband Fred Schwartz of Santa Fe, New Mexico; Roane and wife Carolyn Craig Ruddy, Therese Porter and Chris and husband John Draths, all of Beaumont; Ken and wife Gretchen Kreager Ruddy, Jr., and Peter Ruddy of Houston; Erin and husband Mike Allare of Tyler; Patrick Ruddy of Grapevine; Elizabeth and husband David Schneider of LaMesa, California, twenty-five grandchildren and nineteen great grandchildren. In 1943 Ken graduated from St. Louis University High School and went on to attend St. Louis University and Iowa State College, with a brief stint in the Navy before deciding on the United States Military Academy at West Point. Duty, Honor, Country was the creed he not only deeply believed in, but also lived by on a daily basis. After graduating from the Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Civil Engineering, he served in the United States Regular Army from 1948 - 1956, with tours of duty in Fort Riley, Kansas, Fort Benning, Georgia, Japan, Korea, and Fairbanks, Alaska. While serving in the Korean War he was awarded both Bronze and Silver Stars for heroic actions, aggressive leadership and courageous devotion to duty. Ken began his career in the automobile business at Beaumont Motor Co. in 1956 with Therese's father, James Fant "Fuzzy" Roane. For fifty-nine years he lead Southeast Texas Classic Automotive, the management company of his expanded automobile business. At one point it included dealerships from Mobile, Alabama to Scottsdale, Arizona. Today it includes the local dealerships of Classic Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, GMC, Kia, Acura, Twin City Honda, Nissan, and Classic Toyota, and Mercedes-Benz of Tyler. His civic leadership began when he joined the Rotary Club in 1956 and served as president in 1972. In 1973 he served as founding president of the Beaumont Rotary Foundation which provides funding for public service projects. He also was a founding member of the area chapter of the Better Business Bureau. For many years Ken served as a board member of the Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce, Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital, and the Southeast Texas Economic Development Foundation. Back in the 1980's, he and a handful of other local business leaders helped lead an effort to make the Golden Triangle more cost competitive and attractive for petrochemical expansions. They met with local labor leaders and plant managers and traveled from New Jersey to California to meet with corporate executives promoting our local area. That effort has had a huge impact on our local economy. Ken was a devoted Catholic, beginning in his youth as an altar boy at St. Phillip Neri Catholic Church in St. Louis, Missouri and continuing with daily Mass at St. Anne Catholic Church in Beaumont. The family would like to express sincere gratitude for the extraordinary love and care shown towards "Big Daddy" by Robert and Pauline Carey, August and Augustine Jones, Arturo Iberra, Shirley Prejean, Amanda Hernandez, Linda Johnson, Criseline Yap and Louie Yap, Gloria Goodson, and Lucy Bensuto. Heartfelt appreciation is also extended to Dr. John Henderson, the late Dr. Daniel J. Harmon, Dr. Jeremy Huff, Dr. Joseph Holland, Dr. Nestor Punay, Dr. Todd Clarke and Dr. Jackson L. Porter, Dr. Erwin Lo and their staffs, for patience, care and compassion beyond the call of duty. He leaves behind many family members dedicated to continuing his memorable, humorous stories, which were repeated so many times we have numbered each of them, and his cherished legacy of unity, strength, and pride, not only for his personal and business families but also for this great country of ours. A Rosary for Mr. Ruddy will be recited at 4:00 p.m., with a gathering of family and friends to follow until 7:00 p.m., Sunday, July 15, 2018, at Broussard's, 2000 McFaddin Avenue. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., Monday, July 16, 2018, at St. Anne Catholic Church, 2715 Calder Avenue, Beaumont, with a reception to follow at the Parish Hall until 12:30 p.m. Burial with full military honors will be held at 1:00 p.m., at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Beaumont. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent, and are greatly appreciated, to St. Anne Catholic Church, PO Box 3429, Beaumont, Texas 77704; St. Pius Catholic Church, 5075 Bigner Road, Beaumont, Texas 77708; the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675; the , PO Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011, or the . Complete and updated information may be found at: broussards1889.com
Funeral Home
Broussard's Mortuary
2000 McFaddin Street
Beaumont, TX 77701
(409) 832-1621
Published in the Beaumont Enterprise from July 14 to July 15, 2018
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