Charles (Chuck) Ruhlin, 80, died November 21 after a decades-long fight with Parkinson’s disease, just over two years after the death of his wife of 56 years, Marge. He leaves behind five children and their spouses – Ann (John Bulchik), Susan (Mike Baker), Charlie (Angie Ho), John (Robyn Hicks), and Julie (Cheryl Madden), and ten grandchildren. He also is survived by his brother, Jim Ruhlin.
Chuck graduated from St. Mary’s High School in 1954 and the University of Detroit in 1959 with a degree in engineering. He married his high school sweetheart, Marge, and they moved to Columbus, where they started a family as Chuck began his career as a civil engineer. They later moved to Wadsworth into the house where they raised a family and grew old together. Chuck continued to live in that house until the day he died.
Chuck spent most of his professional life working for The Ruhlin Company and Turner Construction and was particularly proud of his work on numerous expansion projects for Akron Children’s Hospital. He retired as the construction manager for Sumner Home, guiding the building of that company’s senior living facility in Copley. Hard work was a guiding principle of his life; he sent each of his children off to college (and at every goodbye thereafter), with the entreaty to “work hard.”
But his work didn’t keep him from enjoying dinner with his family every night, and he and Marge were the two biggest fans at their children’s numerous events. As their children grew and moved away, Chuck and Marge enjoyed traveling the country to visit. Through years of leading by example, Chuck and Marge engrained in their children a clear sense of the central value of family.
Chuck had a true love of building things, from the beautiful deck on the back of the house to the play table and chairs that still grace the homes of each of his grandkids. And he would do or give anything to help those around him. His construction skills and generosity found the perfect match in Habitat for Humanity, and he became a driving force in the creation of a vibrant chapter in Medina County. Even when his mobility became significantly limited, Chuck never stopped offering to lend a helping hand (and hammer!).
Chuck was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at age 58. What some called denial of the realities of the disease, others recognized as stubborn determination. With his strong will, admirable bravery, and sense of humor, Chuck refused to let Parkinson’s define him or keep him from doing the things he wanted to do.
Chuck’s kids would like to offer a special thanks to his caregivers, Rachel and Wendy, who provided the wonderful care and companionship that helped their dad live his final years at home.
Calling hours will be February 16 from 4 – 7:00 at Hilliard-Rospert in Wadsworth. Funeral Mass will be held on February 17 at 11:00 am at Prince of Peace Church in Barberton.
In Chuck’s honor, his family would appreciate donations to the Medina County Habitat for Humanity, 342 E. Smith Road, Medina, OH 44256.
Hilliard Rospert Funeral Home