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Frederick W. Ruebeck

1939 - 2019 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Frederick W. Ruebeck Obituary
Frederick W. Ruebeck

Indianapolis - With great sadness, the family of Frederick (Fred) W. Ruebeck announces his passing after a three-year struggle with corticobasal degeneration, a neurodegenerative condition, on February 7th at the age of 79.

Born Oct 8th, 1939 in Indianapolis, Indiana, Fred grew up the proud son of German immigrants Frederick C. and Lena H. Ruebeck. He worked summers on his parents' greenhouse farm, growing and selling crops that included tomatoes, radishes, and green beans. The experience taught him the business of farming and the value of hard work, loyalty, and integrity.

While attending Southport High School, he participated in many activities, including various oratorical contests, Mock U.N. Assembly, and 4-H. The most enduring project was one that he pursued with his father, a collection of 2,500 butterflies, moths, and other insects that that was later donated to the Indianapolis Children's Museum.

Opting for a liberal arts education, Fred received a full scholarship to Wabash College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and majoring in chemistry. He discovered his love for management and communications as a leader in the Sigma Chi fraternity, speaker's bureau, language club, and yearbook staff. His continuing bond with the school, his fraternity, and fellow Wabash men was a deep and abiding part of his entire life.

During those undergraduate years and through summer internships at Eli Lilly and Indiana Bell, Fred discovered his passion did not lie in the chemistry lab. Describing his previous occupation as "commercial vegetable grower" Fred applied to Harvard business school. He raised radishes and green beans to pay his tuition, completed his MBA at Harvard in 1963 and went to work for Eli Lilly.

He was a devoted and valued part of Eli Lilly for his entire 37-year career. Beginning as profit plan analyst, he moved on to manager of market research for Eli Lilly's subsidiary Elanco Products Company. Fred eventually became director of operations of Elanco in Brazil, where he and his family lived from 1971 to 1974. Returning to Indianapolis, his path with Eli Lilly moved from marketing directorships to corporate investments and investor relations, then assistant treasurer, and finally global pension fund manager. He retired from Eli Lilly in 2010.

Fred was instrumental in managing critical funding for the Circle Center Mall in 1990 in downtown Indianapolis and considered it a highlight of his career. In 1996, Fred was awarded the prestigious Sagamore of the Wabash designation by Governor Evan Bayh. Reflecting these many accomplishments and connections, Fred and his wife Beverly have established a scholarship fund for first generation students attending Wabash College.

After retirement Fred served on several boards and held various independent directorships including JP Green and Associates, Paceholder High Yield Fund, Heritage One Group Mutual Funds, J.P. Morgan Investment Management, One Group Mutual Funds and Diversified International Funds, and Undiscovered Managers Funds.

Fred had boundless energy for civic engagement in volunteer and leadership positions covering an astounding spectrum of worthy causes over his lifetime. He was a founding member of Big Brothers Indianapolis, board member of Christamore Settlement House, president of the Indianapolis Ballet Theatre Board of Directors, treasurer and senior warden of St. Paul's Episcopal Church Indianapolis, chairman of Seabury Seminary board of trustees, chairman of the Indianapolis Symphony Foundation, scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 56, board member of the Harvard Business School Association, president of Harvard Business School Club of Indianapolis, Alumni Board member of Wabash College, Wabash College Board of Trustees, chief investment officer for Wabash College, board member of National Association of Wabash Men, and member Sigma Chi Fraternity board of trustees. Fred was a member of The University Club of Indianapolis and The Players.

Fred felt his gift was one of serving where he could offer his financial insights. Many will be heard saying Fred was a mentor to them.

He enjoyed sailing (with boats skippered and crewed at various times on Geist Reservoir, in Brazil, and throughout the BVI), travel, music, reading, history, film, and language. He gave of his time serving on the board of the Long Bay Villa Association on Tortola BVI where he and Bev had a villa for many years.

Most of all he cherished his contact with people near and far, long time-friends and new acquaintances, those with life experiences similar or distant from his own. He loved his sons and family and the times they shared over the years. He was all about memories. He was proud of his parents' past and maintained a bond with his German relatives, sharing that connection with his own family and creating relationships that have continued through the years.

As his disease progressed, Fred had a difficult time communicating, but his eyes made magical contact and his smile could light up the room. He would move his foot to the beat of music. He continued to enjoy the company of family and friends. Well done good and faithful servant for a life well lived.

Fred is survived by his loving wife of 37 years, Beverly; sons Christopher (Lisa) and David (Claire); grandchildren Hannah, Joshua, and Noah; Zoe, his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who was always nearby; brother-in-law Skip Boone (Mary Ann) their family; and four God-children.

We give thanks for the love, support and visits of family, friends, St. Paul's clergy, and Dr. Jeffery Nace. We are also thankful for Fred's primary caregiver Eddie; Clarity Care Givers, and their long-time caregivers Alen, Samantha, Charity, Jane, Julie, CJ, Kim and Keeta; and to Heartland Hospice. You all made our journey a bit easier.

A Eucharist celebrating Fred's life will be held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 6050 Meridian Street, Indianapolis, at 11a.m. on Saturday, February 16th. Interment will follow in the Columbarium, with a reception following in the Parish Hall.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to any of the following or a :

Mayo Clinic, designated to Neurodegenerative Research (Fred was an organ donor), and mailed directly to Mayo Clinic, Department of Development, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, FL 32224

St. Paul's Episcopal Church Memorial Fund, via mail at 6050 N. Meridian Street

Indianapolis, IN 46208 or online at

Wabash College: Fred & Beverly Ruebeck Family Scholarship, 301 W. Wabash Ave. Crawfordsville IN 47933, [email protected] or visit

To share a memory of Fred, you may visit to sign the guest book and leave a personal message.

Arrangements are being managed by Leppert Mortuary.
Published in the The Indianapolis Star on Feb. 14, 2019
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