Norman Alvin Ruggles, 84, passed away on July 13, 2013 at Southeast Hospice Care Center in Edgewater. Norman was born in Riceville, PA on August 15, 1928 son of Dora (Smith) and Benjamin C. Ruggles. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Penn State University. After graduation he joined Westinghouse in Pasadena, Maryland and was employed there for 33 years .During that time he was involved in many classified government projects to include the Apollo mission. After his retirement in 1987 he moved to Kissimmee, FL. Throughout his life Norman loved to travel visiting 49 states and 6 of the 7 continents. He had a great love of music especially lite classical and screen and stage. His family will always remember him as a simple man with few wants, always there for his family and anyone who needed his help. Besides his parents he is predeceased by is companion and soul mate, Marge Baker; brother Robert B. Ruggles and nephew Raymond Karl. Left to cherish his memory are his nephews; Larry and his wife Sandy Ruggles , their children , Laurie (Brenda) , Michele (Pat), and Sherrie(Tracy) ; Dennis and his wife Toni Ruggles, their children, Dennis, Steven, Marc, Liza and Stephanie; great niece, Joyce Craig and several great-great and great- great- great nieces and nephews and many friends across the country who mourn his passing. A Memorial service was held 10:30 a.m., Friday, July 19, 2013 at Volusia Memorial Funeral Home 4815 Clyde Morris Blvd, Port Orange.
Words shared at Memorial Service July 19, 2013
Norman Alvin Ruggles was born on August 15th, 1928 . He was the youngest of two boys to Dora and BC Ruggles. Norman was the definition of snowbird before we probably began calling the winter travelers this; as he spent his winters in St. Cloud and summers in Riceville, Pennsylvania. He grew up with a love of fishing spending a lot of time on Lake Toho with his brother Bob and his DadBC. Norman loved learning and carried this on throughout his life. In high school he excelled both academically and in other school activities He was the captain of his basketball team and also reinstate the High School Yearbook club after a 10 year hiatus. After graduating from High School he attended Penn State University and remained an avid alumni and Nittany Lions Fan. While attending Penn State University he was recruited by Westinghouse as an Electrical Engineer. Norman spen3 years with Westinghouse and worked on many top level governmental projects and even obtained a special security clearance.He worked on the Apollo space program, was an integral part of the cameras that were created and taken to the moon which showed the world the first pictures of the moon. He also was part of the design of the F-15 Fighter Jet. I the late 80'she moved to Kissimmee Florida as his brother Bob was living nearby in St. Cloud, Florida. During this time he met Marge Baker who lived a few doors down from him. Marge became his best friend, soul mate and traveling companion. And how Norman love to travel; but thinking back I think that was in part his love of learning. He traveled to 6 of the 7 continents and 49of the 50 states.. He never made it to North Dakota or Africa. A few of his favorite place were China and New Zealand. While he and Marge were together they spent 3 months in New Zealand....thats how much he loved it. One thing the family will always remember about Uncle Norman was that he lived simply; he didn't need a lot of material things. Even when traveling he didn't stay in lush hotels or 5 star resorts he stayed in
Elder Hostels. And it's not that he could not have, he just choose not to. Perhaps that's how he also really experienced the places he visited. He enjoyed celebrating higher learning and when individuals worked to create a better life for themselves. When my MOM ( Sandy) graduated for nursing school he treated her to a trip of a lifetime to Greece for her and my Dad as her graduation gift. When Michele, Sherrie and I graduated from High School he was overly generous with his graduation gift; but that was Uncle Norman. He helped my sister Sherrie for 21/2 years purchased her school books for college until she received her scholarship.When Brenda and the boys were coming to live with us Uncle Norman is the person who gave me the down payment for our home. As he gave me the check he is telling me how much he admires me for what I am doing... It should have been the other way around. He has helped great nieces and nephews and great great nieces and nephews all in their pursuit of higher education whether it was a college or trade school... he always lent help with no expectations of repayment or otherwise. Recently a friend of over 30 years and co-worker of Norman's shared a story about a fellow co-worker who thought Norman to be somewhat of a person who kept to themselves, but if you were in need he would be there for you in a minute. Irv Kaplan his friend said that Norman would dedicate his entire day to helping you solve a problem if that was what you needed... Another testament to his generosity. Uncle Norman also loved his music and this was something he shared together with Marge. As I said Uncle Norman was a man of simple needs but he didn't spare the cost when it came to being able to watch his Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals purchasing the largest TV and sound system he could get. This brought him so much joy and happiness. He was a planner and an independent man throughout his life and until the very end. I remember visiting him both at the assisted living center and the rehab center where he spent the last few months of his life and we would discuses putting a plan together because he know his health was declining . He wanted to have a plan in place but wanted no part in coming home to live with anyone. He wanted to remain independent and when Mom and Dad had him moved to the hospice center where they worked so hard for him to be there you could see the peace and relaxation come over him. It was like he was where he wanted to be until it was his time. My own person experience with Uncle Norman was something I will always treasure. He always told me how much he admired me and my work ethic and when I was becoming a step-mom to the boy's he told me so many times how much he admired that. He always made Us feel so special and I hope in some small way he knew how special he was to us.