Walt Ruby, 77, died on Friday, March 26, 2021, at the VA Hospital in Sturgis, SD. Walt was born on June 11, 1943, to Walter and Katherine (Gray) Ruby in Bridgeport, CT. He grew up in Fairfield, CT, and graduated from Andrew Ward High School. He was a talented football player and was awarded a full ride scholarship to play football at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. In his second year of college, he joined the United State Marines.
As a U.S. Marine, Walt spent 19 months deployed to Vietnam on Hill 55 as part of a communications division before returning to Camp Pendleton in California for his remaining time in the service. Walt was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant in 1967.
In 1968, Walt moved to Spearfish, SD, to attend Black Hills State University. He met his wife, Kathy (Goodell) Ruby, while there. Walt and Kathy were married in 1970 in Thermopolis, WY. Following their graduation, they both were offered teaching positions in Danbury, CT. Walt taught middle school special education. Walt and Kathy moved to Riverton, WY., in 1976 for special education teaching positions with the Fremont County School District. Walt taught high school special education and coached girl’s track.
Walt took early retirement from teaching in 1996. Throughout his retirement Walt pursued many hobbies and interests including music, art, coins, stamps, baseball cards, pocket watches, wooden boxes, knives, swords, and books. He spent many hours building model military tanks. After Kathy retired in 2009, Walt and Kathy moved to Rapid City, SD, to be close to family.
Walt was a man of many acquaintances but a few chosen close friends. He was a great mentor to his students, nephews, son, and friends. He enjoyed philosophical conversation and healthy debates.
Walt is survived by his wife, Kathy; his son, Wade (Elizabeth); two grandchildren, Baze and Dax; sister-in-law, Kristi (Keith); brother-in-law, Bob (Liz); sister-in-law Cara (Tom); and nephews, Lon (Denise), Jake, AJ, Cody, Casey (Kelsie), and Chase; and several great-nieces and nephews.
Walt is preceded in death by his infant son, Matthew; parents, Walter and Katherine; sister, Elinore; and in-laws, Doc and Connie.
A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, April 2, 2021, at Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis, SD. A private family burial will follow at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis. Family and friends are invited Kathy and Walt’s home for an open house from 1-3 p.m. Memorial gifts can be made to the Disabled Veterans of America of which Walt was a member or the donor’s choice.