We celebrate the life of Stephen (SH) Ruchti who went home to be with the Lord on November 15, 2012 at the age of 85 years. Steve was married 51 years to his best friend, Donna June (Schleisner) Ruchti. With three children, five grandchildren, and numerous friends and relatives, Steve’s generosity was shown not only to family and friends, but to those “least among us” in our community. Among the organizations in which Steve held leadership roles include: the Elks Lodge, Janesville Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis International, and the Masons (holding the 32nd degree). He was also a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Steve’s commitment to serving others was an enduring example of God’s love and grace to mankind.
Steve approached life with gusto, enjoying cars, woodworking, woodcarving, gardening, baking, canning, and all-things-mechanical. A WWII Navy veteran who entered military service at the age of 15 years, he “grew up in a hurry.” He served as a Shipfitter on the USS Palawan ARG-10. He earned a bachelor’s degree in math and physics from Milton College after returning from military service. Steve, an Independent Insurance Agent for 30 years, was owner of the Ruchti Insurance Agency in Janesville. With a quick wit, keen sense of humor, unpretentious spirit, and a desire to make a difference, Steve touched many lives. As we fondly remember Steve’s life, we rejoice with the knowledge that he is now with his parents, wife, sister, and friends — all embraced in the arms of their loving Savior, Jesus Christ. Steve would often ask the question, “How could a person look up at the stars and not believe in God.” Steve’s fundamental wish was to hear the words of the Savior, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” And, indeed he now has.
Steve’s family would like to thank all of the doctors, nurses, aides, and other healthcare providers at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison. You were outstanding. The family also extends its gratitude to Agrace Hospice nursing staff. Steve really enjoyed visits from Chris, a fellow navy man, from Total Home Health. A celebration of Steve’s life will take place at Oakhill Cemetery at 1 p.m. on Sunday, November 25, 2012. The Reverend Jamie Swanson of Rock Prairie Presbyterian Church will officiate. Friends are invited to attend. Memorial contributions in the name of Stephen H. Ruchti can be made to: the Wisconsin Badger Honor Flight and the USO. Schneider Apfel Schneider & Schneider Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.
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