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Walter Howard Ruef


1924 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Walter Howard Ruef Obituary
Walter Howard Ruef

Bremerton, WA

March 3, 1924 to May 20, 2018

Walter Howard Ruef was born in Bremerton, WA on March 3, 1924 and died in Bremerton on May 20, 2018. Walt was the oldest of six children, three of whom preceded him in death. He graduated from Bremerton High School in the class of 1942. After graduation Walt attended the University of Washington but left to work at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for about a year before joining the U.S. Army Air Corps in May, 1943. He was discharged in 1946 and returned to work at PSNS as an apprentice electrician. Walt married Ruth Jones in March, 1950 and was called back from the Reserves into the US Air Force in August of the same year. At the end of 1951 he returned once again to his apprenticeship at PSNS and remained working there until his retirement from the Design Division in 1979. He travelled to Saigon, Viet Nam in fall, 1973 serving as a U.S. Naval Defense Attaché through spring, 1974.

Walt spent much of his time involved in his five children's activities including Pee Wees, Boy Scouts and Camp Fire Girls, serving as Scoutmaster of Tracyton Troop 506. He also played semi-professional baseball and fast-pitch softball for many years and was a long-time member of the Bremerton Elks Lodge. Walt was forever building and remodeling the house near Tracyton that he and Ruth bought in 1954. Raised a "city boy" he fell in love with the peace and solitude of living on five acres surrounded by trees and happy children. There was nothing he loved more than inviting everyone, including extended families and friends, for picnics and campfires or holiday parties. His 4th of July bash was the highlight of each summer for so many loved ones for so many wonderful years. Walt also enjoyed vacationing at Lake Cushman, hiking in the Olympics, hunting and fishing anywhere! Although he was a homebody, he very much enjoyed travel with Ruth and his children to San Diego, Catalina Island, Washington and Oregon beaches, Hawaii and Mexico.

Walt leaves behind Ruth, his wife of 68 years and best friend. He also leaves his daughter, Janet (Paul) and three sons, Walter, Michael (Kate) and James (Julie). His oldest daughter, Carol, preceded him in death in 2014. He also leaves behind his six beloved grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, two brothers, several nieces and nephews and many, many admiring friends and in-laws. He lived his life simply and honestly. He always had time for those he loved. The world lost a treasure when Walt passed.

At his request, there will be no formal memorial service. Donations to the Seattle Museum of Flight to honor his memory and his great affection for aircraft and flight would be welcome. Best to remember Walt when you are sitting by a campfire with those you love and a starry sky above. (nip of scotch optional)
Published in Kitsap Sun on June 3, 2018
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