William G Ruddy
1937 - 2013
William G. Ruddy, 76, passed away Nov. 26th after a year's battle with bone marrow cancer, or multiple myeloma.
He was born July 19, 1937 in Ansonia Connecticut, and graduated from Yale University in 1959 and Yale Law School in 1962.
He served in Army Intelligence and spent a summer working for the Bank of Brussels and wrote a thesis for law school about reasons for formation of the European Common Market. He attended the Sorbonne Cours de Civilization in the summer of 1959.

Bill worked for the Federal Maritime Commission in Washington D.C., before being recruited to come to Alaska to work for the Attorney General's office to evaluate the steamship contracts. He drove across country with his first wife Susan Lynch Ruddy in 1964, and after the attorney general's work, joined Robertson, Monagle, Eastaugh & Annis (later Robertson, Mondagle, Eastaugh & Bradley) from 1965 to 1985. He served in the Alaska National Guard from 1962 to 1968.

Bill and his wife Kathy Kolkhorst were married in 1979. In 1986 Bill, Kathy and Jim Bradley opened Ruddy, Bradley & Kolkhorst, a law firm which continues to the present.

Bill used his knowledge of the Russian language and history to connect with the Russian Far East. In 1989 he was invited by the Soviet Ministry of Aviation to tour aviation facilities in the USSR. In 1997, after the fall of the Soviet Union, he helped found an American law firm in Russia with his college classmate-- Russin & Vecchi. He worked in the Vladivostok office of Russin & Vecchi from 1996 to 2005.

Bill and his wife Kathy renovated and operate the Princeton Hall, a wooden boat built by Tlingit, Haida and Tsimpsian students at Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka and launched three days before Pearl Harbor. The U.S. Navy seized the vessel for wartime service in troop transport and mine sweeping; after the war the Presbyterian Church used the boat to link with people in the local island villages. After renovation, the Princeton Hall has been inspiration and guide to explore the bays and coves of southeast Alaska. The boat is a member of the Classic Yacht Association.

Bill participated in starting the Juneau Volunteer Marching Band in 1976, when he noticed that the July 4th Parade lacked music. He played trumpet in that band until last year, and also for several years in the Juneau Symphony. He also played for many years in the Juneau Student Symphony, Juneau's intergenerational music group. He organized a travelling Dixieland band called "The Ruble Rousers" (Vdoxnoviteli Rublei) and took the band to the Russian Far East in 1994 to help plant Rotary clubs in Vladivostok and Khabarovsk. He also played trumpet in the St. Paul Singers, the Chapel Brass and the Juneau Concert Band.
Every year before Juneau's Fireworks at midnight July 3rd, the Princeton Hall carries members of the Juneau Volunteer Marching Band in front of the waterfront docks so people can enjoy hearing band music--mostly Sousa-- along with the fireworks.
Bill taught International Business at the University of Alaska Southeast, and was President of the Juneau Glacier Valley Rotary Club.

He is survived by his wife Kathy Kolkhorst Ruddy, and children Lydia Ruddy of Jakarta, Indonesia; Sean (Pauline) Ruddy of Anchorage and Halibut Cove, Alaska; Anna (Jason) Speichinger of Nairobi, Kenya; and Elena (Forrest) Merrill of Missoula, Montana; grandchildren Ezra and Ruth Speichinger of Nairobi, Kenya; and many foreign exchange students, mostly from Russia.

Services will be held at Chapel by the Lake Thursday Dec 5th at 3 p.m. with a reception to follow. All are welcome.

Donations may be made to Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Inc. and Hospice and Home Care of Juneau.
Published by Juneau Empire on Nov. 28, 2013.
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30 Entries
I don't remember a lot about Bill as when I met him I was probably 7 years old and we spent the summer at his place with his kids Sean and Lydia and a Korean Babysitter I think her name was Chung un. That was a fabulous magical summer I wont forget. What I do remember about Bill was going out to church or Hall of some kind and listening to a full chorus, the most memorable song was "Let the sun shine in" and Bill played an amazing trumpet. I t was the most amazing music I had ever heard. Several years ago I was in Juneau and I found Bills house, He was gracious and invited me in. He told me how his kids were doing and asked about my father Michael Jones whom sometime in the 70s he helped with some legal issues. It wasn't long before a book was brought out and there I was a kid playing with his. Bill was a special guy, I'm sorry I didn't know him better.
Sean Jones
February 15, 2019
What a great guy. My condolences to Kathy, Lydia, Sean, Anna and Helena.
Peggy Berck
January 2, 2014
Tom Sofo
December 25, 2013
Picture of TOM SOFO

Dear Kathy

I have just caught up with the news of Bill's passing.

It saddened me very greatly.

In the early years when Bill and I were both single, I spent a lot of time with Bill, both hanging around his house with Sean and Lydia, when they were there for the summers, and also downtown at the Red Dog, the Triangle, and the Crystal (Ox), etc. Not to mention the endless hours brother Gary painting the Princeton Hall and the outings with Bill on it over the years.

A classic Bill tidbit - My first argument in front of the Alaska Supreme Court was in the Beck Construction case. I was up in Anchorage a day early and happened to run into Bill. I think he was up there for a follow-on appeal in the Stambaugh v. University of Alaska case. Bob Boochever tried to make me feel comfortable, but I was plenty nervous and had a gazillion 3x5 cards spread out over every inch of counsel's table with highlighters, paperclips, etc. The court allowed Bill to come up and sit with me during the argument of my case.

Bill invited me to stay and sit at counsel's table when it was time for his argument. When he opened his briefcase there were three and only three things in it. A trumpet mouthpiece, a Ben Franklin wig and a legal yellow pad that had just a couple of lines scribbled on it.

That's was it!

Great conversations, sly intelligent humor, lover of music, a thoughtful, kind, and considerate man. If you knew him you almost had to like him.

We are all diminished by his passing.

Here's a picture of the Juneau Douglas Marching Band in 1978, I think. You can see Bill in the 6th row back up in the right hand corner.

Say hi to the kids for me.

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Tom Sofo
December 23, 2013
Kathy, we were very sorry to hear of Bill's passing. He not only participated so willingly in every office he took on but he was an inspirational guy in his quiet (without trumpet)way.
ken Smith
December 19, 2013
Dear Kathy: I just learned today of Bill's passing. Like so many others I am very sad. He was always so courteous and friendly with a great smile. I always enjoyed saying hello to you two. My thoughts are with you and your family
Pat Bock
December 19, 2013
Dear Kathy and Family
I was saddened to see that Bill as passed. He will always be remembered by the "AHS Class of '55". I was happy to have both of you to our class reunion. RIP
Liz Guardiani-King
December 16, 2013
Dear Kathy,

From 90th I had a pleasure to know Bill and you and even had a privilege to host Bill in my apartment in Moscow for a week within one of his trips to Russia when he helped us to develop the first class legal practice in Russia and specifically to build our practice [and lawyers] in the Russian Far East. I enjoyed all our conversations within the last two decades in Moscow, Vladivostok, and Sakhalin. My condolences to you and your Family.
Sergei Lazarev
December 6, 2013
Dear Kathy,
My deepest sympathy to you and family. I had many good conversations over the years with Bill and thoroughly, enjoyed his wit, knowledge,life experiences and commitment to whatever he was involved in, ie, work, Rotary, music,education, community ,etc.
He was a good man and I much appreciated and enjoyed his friendship.

Les Spickler
Tumwater Wa.
December 5, 2013
Dear Kathy, I have fond memories of Bill, from the early days of my law career, when Fred Baxter pitted me against the likes of Jim Bradley and Jim Clark, and after they had beat me up, Bill would find a way to make it feel as if it was all OK, and that it was all in the natural order of things for the younger guy to take it in the chin. I know you were the love of his life, and that you will miss him beyond measure. My thoughts are with you.
Steven Marks
Portland Oregon
December 4, 2013
Dear Kathy,
While Suzanne and I knew of Bill's heroic struggle to continue his life with you and the family through your postings, news of his passing comes sadly as a reminder of how fragile we all are. Please know we are thinking of you at this time and are hopeful Bill's memory brings you comfort. As Bill's former law partner, I have many memories. His wisdom and maturity always thoughtful and , frequently,laced with humor. His wonderful appreciation of music and theater and curiosity about other places and other things. I will miss him as will many, many others.
May all these memories and more to come help keep you strong .
Take care.
Leroy and Suzanne
Leroy Barker
December 3, 2013
Bill was a great friend. I am deeply saddened by his passing. He will be missed.
Dick Levitt
December 3, 2013
Kathy & family, condolences to you all. Regards, Karen & Ole Taug
December 2, 2013
Dear Kathy and the Ruddy family:
What a loss to Juneau, to Alaska, to our relationship with the Russian Far East, to all of your family and to those who knew and loved Bill. He accomplished much in his lifetime. May your memories and our thoughts and prayers comfort you in this time of loss.
Charles and Mary Lou Gerbi
December 2, 2013
Dear Kathy and family,
Our sincerest and heartfelt condolences to you. Bill was a wonderful, involved, and caring man who contributed so much to the Juneau community. He will be greatly missed. Lynda Giguere and Rick Clair
Lynda Giguere
December 2, 2013
Bill was a friend and aquaintance almost from the time he arrived in Alaska.Few of us have the energy and intellect to achieve what Bill did and it was always in his trademark quiet and assured manner. He lead a full and productive life; a life that brought great benefits to many and a lifetime of satisfaction to him. Bill Ruddy will be well remembered.Warren
Warren Wiley
December 2, 2013
Kathy & family: Prayers for peace and comfort to your family. Sorry for your loss.
Dot & Jim Wilson
December 2, 2013
As you know so well, Bill will be remembered by all his collegues in the Russian offices of Russin & Vecchi for his love of the law and his concern to share his knowledge, particularly with younger lawyers. I will miss the times I had together with you and him after law school, in Washington, in Juneau, in Moscow, Vladivostok, and Maine. It was always a joy to see you and Bill together.

Vechnaya pamyat,
Jonathan Russin
December 1, 2013
I remember Bill as an especially warm, witty, and humane member of our law school class 50+ years ago.
Art Cohen
December 1, 2013
I remember how floored I was at the Lucky Lady when I heard Bill play jazz with Claire Daley's group when they were here during Jazz and Classics. I was fortunate to play with him that evening too. He sure could play that horn! I'll miss seeing him around town. My condolences. Georgia
Georgia Horton
November 30, 2013
I ran into a brick wall named Bill Ruddy almost 25 yrs. ago when I first started a law practice in Juneau. He advocated with ferocity. He also knew how to have fun, and when my bruises healed I enjoyed getting to know him outside of court. He was generous to the community and to friends in need, and he was a devoted husband and father.
Dan Wayne
November 29, 2013
Wise, soft spoken, kind hearted and supportive person. Ruddy's always have the door open to people and the community. Thoughts and condolences to Kathy and family.
Michael Williasm
November 29, 2013
Kathy - thinking of you and family. Bill was a lovely person. Always had a twinkle in those kind eyes. Love Gladi Kulp and Jon Pond
Gladi & Jon Kulp & Pond
November 29, 2013
Our entire family loved Bill. My he rest in peace. The Lord has called you home and it is within the embrace of his loving arms that you my friend will reside forever.
Konnie Chitty
November 29, 2013
Kathy so sorry to hear about bill i remember when i met bill when i was 6 years old and mom and betty worked for Robertson monegal esteaugh and bradley brings back childhood memories love. Katies daughrer cheryl dilg
Cheryl Dilg
November 29, 2013
Dear Kathy, what a wonderful legacy William has left Alaska. Our warm and supportive thoughts are with you and your family. Love, Stan and Amy Lujan
Stan and Amy Lujan
November 29, 2013
Always a gentleman, Bill was an excellent lawyer and a good man. His was a life well-lived. I am happy to have known him. My condolences to Kathy and the family.
Ed Hein
November 29, 2013
A wonderfully gentle and intelligent man, with the kindest of hearts, and the finest of friends
November 28, 2013
Kathy, we will miss him so much, he was a wonderful person.
November 28, 2013
Connie and I are so very sorry to hear of Bill Ruddy's passing. He was a fine and admirable person. We extend our deep sympathy and condolences to the family.
Kenneth W. Moss MD
Connie Moss
Polson MT
Kenneth W Moss
November 28, 2013
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