Obituary: George “Joe” Ruckman

George Raymond “Joe” Ruckman passed away in his town house apartment sometime before 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, 2012.  He was 65 years old. Sue Kirkham and Joe’s brother, Jim Ruckman, became concerned about him when they noticed that there were no new tracks in the fresh snow in front of his townhouse. When he didn’t answer his door they called the Meeker Police to make a welfare check. Officer Jim Amick entered through a window and found Joe had passed away while peacefully sleeping in his recliner with the TV still on.
Joe had a stroke about three years ago and had gamely tried to recover. He continued to work to the best of his ability but had been forced into early retirement a year ago by disability. More recently he had recovered from a round of flu. Bob Ruckman had checked up on him when his daughter called concerned about him. Joe reported that he was “OK, doing fine.” Joe’s passing is a shock to his friends and family.
Joe was a gentle soul who will be remembered for his friendly dry wit, ready smile and willingness to converse, long and hard, with anyone who wanted, or loaned, an ear to bend. He took the time and really cared for you. He was a part of the local fabric and color of this community.
Work began early in Joe’s life following the death of his mother, Clara, when he was only 4.  Everyone had chores to do, even Joe, the youngest, who helped with cooking, gardening, cleaning and whatever else needed to be done. During his school years and later, following graduation from Meeker High School, Joe worked in the family business as a plumber and handyman. He later worked in retail sales, coal mining and for Kum ‘n Go. He eventually became the manager of the Stage Stop Kum ‘n Go, where he retired at age 64 following an incomplete recovery from his stroke.
George “Joe” was named George for his maternal grandfather, George Johnson, and Raymond for his beloved father, Roy Raymond “Ray” Ruckman. The name “Joe” came from a nickname, “Jody,” bestowed by the women who cared for and loved him as a child. Joe is met and welcomed to heaven by a band of angels, many the same as those who welcomed Jody 65 years ago into this mortal existence. Joe is survived by his brothers, James L. “Jim” Ruckman, Jack H. Ruckman, and Robert L. “Bob” Ruckman.  He has three daughters, Julene Ruckman Morris, Katrina Ruckman Proudy, both of Grand Junction, Colo., and Shelby Ruckman Owens of Pocatello, Idaho. Joe has two grandchildren, Samantha Morgan and Kodie Morris, Julene’s daughter and son.
A celebration of Joe’s life and services will be held March 19 at 10 a.m. at the Meeker Methodist Church. Funeral arrangements are being made by Grant Mortuary.
Joe, we wish you Godspeed on your new adventure.