Glendive lost a very kind and generous man on Tuesday, April 3, 2017 when Mike Ruddy passed away at his home.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Glendive, with Father Francis Schreiber officiating. Interment with military honors will be held in Dawson County Cemetery. Silha Funeral Home of Glendive has been entrusted with the arrangements.
Mike was born on June 19, 1949 in Glendive to parents Cliff and Cecelia (Brunelle) Ruddy. He was raised and educated in Glendive, and went to elementary school at Sacred Heart Catholic School. During high school, he worked at Midland Lumber Company. He graduated Dawson County High School with the class of 1967. After high school, he enlisted in the United States Marines and saw action in Vietnam. He served from 1968 to 1970, and was honorably discharged. He then enrolled in Northern Montana College in Havre from 1972 until 1974, and majored in technical engineering. In 1975, Mike hired out with Burlington Northern Railroad as a rail detector operator. He was based out of Minneapolis, Minn. His work took him all over the rail system. Mike enjoyed this work and he loved going to different places, meeting people and taking in the culture and natural beauty of the area. Later, the railroad moved him to Fort Worth, Texas, where he finished his career after 25 years of service. He then moved to Austin, Texas where he worked as a track engineer specialist for Hamilton Associates. In 2005, he retired completely and moved back home to Glendive.
Mike was first and foremost a proud Democrat. He was the vice chairman of the Democratic Party. In 2016, he ran for the Montana House of Representatives for the counties of Dawson and Wibaux. In this calling, Mike was the voice of the people who work hard for a living. Mike believed everyone deserved a chance at a better life. He was never judgmental and always willing to help in any way he could. He was a big supporter of small businesses in Glendive. Mike was a lifetime member of the Friends of Makoshika and at the time of his death he was working tirelessly to try to get water into the park. Mike served as a trustee on the Dawson Community College board, and was a member of the Kiwanis, VFW Post 1125, and The American Legion Post 28.
Mike enjoyed world travel together with his good pal Ken Kubesh. They enjoyed taking cruises, and loved taking in the culture and diversity of the many countries they visited. They especially loved the food! When Ken sailed his own boat around the world, Mike met him in Italy, and together they sailed around the Mediterranean Sea.
To the people who loved him the most, he was simply ‘Uncle Mike’. He loved spending time with his nephews and nieces. He was especially close to his sister Susie’s children. In 1993, Susie and her family moved to Minneapolis and lived close to Mike. Some of the most fun and memorable times came when Mike would come home to Minneapolis on Fridays. Mike, Derek, Jason and Kelsi took in many Vikings and Twins games at the Metrodome. During the week, while on the detector car, he would find all of the tourist traps around Minn. On the weekends they would go fishing, boating, river rafting or anything else that was fun and exciting. If the weather didn’t cooperate, there was always something around the Minneapolis area to do. Joining them on many of their adventures was Buster, the family basset hound. Mike was a dog lover but was unable to have one of his own due to his life on the railroad taking him away all week. Buster fit the bill for Mike. When Mike showed up, Buster was the first to jump into his car and would not take “no” for an answer. Mike insisted that Buster come along for the fun.
Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Cliff and Cecelia Ruddy; and his brother, Dan Ruddy.
Mike is survived by his sisters, Anne Ruddy of Portland, Ore. and Susie (Les) Frank of Glendive; sister-in-law, Kris Ruddy of Glendive; 3 nephews; and five nieces, including Kelsi Frank, who Mike was very close too. Family and friends knew who Mike was talking about when he would refer to her as “Bestest.”
Memorials in Mike’s name are suggested to the Dawson County Food Bank, 112 W. Benham, Glendive, MT 59330.
Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at: www.silhafuneralhome.com.