Robert E. Rucks

Robert “Bob” E. Rucks, 96, passed away on December 14, 2021 surrounded by his family. Bob was born December 19, 1924, the son of Henry C. and Maude A. (Trewin) Rucks.  On July 15, 1950 he married Rita J. Wirkus and she preceded him in death on September 13, 1995.  On March 4, 2000 he married Marilyn L. Luedtke and she preceded him in death on August 31, 2017.

Bob graduated from Fond du Lac High School in 1942.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1950 and a Master of Science in Clinical Techniques in 1951, both from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  He served in the United States Navy during World War II stationed in the Philippines and on USS PGM-16 and greatly enjoyed participating in the Old Glory Honor Flight in 2011.

Bob was employed by the Fond du Lac School District for 34 years teaching Special Education at Goodrich High School and as Director of Pupil Services.  He was a member of the Fond du Lac Retired Educators Association.

He was a co-founder of Workshops Inc, now known as Brooke Industries and served as Past President on the Board of Directors.

He was a member of regional, state and international levels of the Council for Exceptional Children and served as State President and was a member of Administrators of Special Education where he served as International Treasurer.  He received the John Melcher award from Wisconsin Council of Administrators of Special Education for his leadership in the field of Special Education. He was a past Chairman of the Marian College (University) Board of Directors and was a visiting Lector.

Bob was active in the local UW Alumni Association including a term as president.  He was past Chairman of the Lake Alpine Protection and Rehabilitation District and was a member and past Chairman of the St. Agnes Auxiliary Volunteers.  He was a member of the Fond du Lac Noon Kiwanis and served as Past President and Past Lieutenant Governor.  He was also a member of the Fond du Lac Public Library Board of Directors.

Bob enjoyed reading, walking, playing cards, fishing, writing and bird-watching.  In his later years he especially enjoyed attending the monthly steak fry at the Knights of Columbus with his friends. Above all, he loved making people smile and laugh whether it was with a dad joke or terrible pun.

He is survived by six children, Mary Sears of Wautoma, Judith Rucks, Thomas (Karen) Rucks and Ann (Steve) Pickart of Fond du Lac, Patricia (Corbin) Stenz of Oshkosh and Susan (Mike) Bell of Neshkoro.  He is also survived by seven grandchildren, Nicholas (Melissa) and Adam (Sara) Sears, Corbin (Tanya) Stenz, Keiana (Bob Frank) and Alana Rucks, Cliff (Shannon) Pickart, Kelsey (Kevin) Yeska along with eight great-grandchildren.  He is further survived by a sister in law, Julie Rucks, many nieces and nephews, many friends including John and Mary Kotek and their daughter Sarah Hassel and her family and Marilyn’s children, Kurt (Sue), Kent (Mary), Jim (Betsy), Dave (Joan), John (Carol) Luedtke and Vicki (Joe) Ziglinski.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Maude, his wife Rita, his wife Marilyn, his brother Donald Rucks, his mother-in-law Stella Wirkus, his brothers-in-law Albert (Ludgilla) Wirkus and Bernard (Eileen) Wirkus and a sister-in-law Joan Rucks.

Services: Bob’s family invites relatives and friends to Holy Family Catholic Church, 271 Fourth Street Way, Fond du Lac, for a time of visitation on Monday, December 20, 2021 from 9:00 to 10:45 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. followed by military honors. Bob will be laid to rest at St. Charles Cemetery in a private family ceremony.

Bob’s family would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to the staff at St. Francis Terrace for the care and support they provided him the last four years. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Fond du Lac Area Foundation – Rita and Robert Rucks Scholarship Fund.