LEAF RIVER – Kenneth James Ruiz, 80, of Leaf River, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018.
He was born March 18, 1938, in Rockford, the son of Vicente and Winona (West) Ruiz. Kenn attended West High School and graduated from Wheaton Academy. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College and his master’s degree from University of Illinois. He was united in marriage to Patricia Long on Dec. 26, 1964, in Rockford. Kenn began his career at Lincoln Middle School, where he taught general science classes, and later taught chemistry, biology and anatomy-physiology at Guilford High School.
Kenn was truly called to his profession, and shared his love of the sciences with all the children he taught over the years, by bringing science to life with his animal demonstrations and fun experiments. Students looked forward to having him as an instructor. His faith was very important to him, he loved attending church at the Evangelical Free Church of Mount Morris, his Bible study group and serving the Lord. He went on several mission trips to Mexico, including one with his four siblings. Kenn was devoted to his wife and children. They traveled the country when the kids were young and went on camping and diving trips, and other family vacations. His love of adventure and travel continued in his retirement, Kenn and Patricia traveled all over the world. He was always active and on the move. Kenn had to be doing something productive each day, so that he could reflect on what he accomplished at the end of the day. Kenn was well loved by his entire family and was known for keeping their lives interesting.
Survivors include his wife, Patricia; children, Kendra (Michael) Oltmanns, Kathleen (Keith) Collins, Kirsten (Matt Tomaszewski) Ruiz, and Ken (Toni) Ruiz; grandchildren, Danielle (Cory) Ruiz-Williams, Allison Collins, and Gavin Collins; great-grandchildren, Camden and Amelia Williams; siblings, Richard (JoAnn) Ruiz, Bonnie Kostantacos, Keith (Darla) Ruiz; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Edith Ford.
The memorial visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, and the celebration of life at 2 p.m. Saturday at Evangelical Free Church of Mount Morris, 102 S. Seminary Ave. Bruce McKanna, pastor, will officiate. Grace Funeral & Cremation Services is handling arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorials will be established.
Visit graceFH.com to send condolences.