Stow - Harold Oscar Ruggles, World War II Pacific Theater veteran and longtime citizen of Stow, died Sunday morning , May 2, at 9:45 at the home he built in the early 1950's. Mary Lou (Little) Ruggles, 93, his wife of 72 ½ years, along with all five of his children were present when he passed away peacefully in his sleep.
Mr. Ruggles was born in Cuyahoga Falls at the home of his parents, Gifford Albert Ruggles and Madge Oberla (Champney) Ruggles July 21, 1925, a shortly before his identical twin Harry Newton Ruggles. Harry had preceded him in death nearly 3 years ago only 9 days after his 93rd birthday. Harold was the last of his family to pass with sister Louise Oberla Ruggles, brothers Raymond William Ruggles and Edwin Albert Ruggles preceding him.
Harold was named after his grandfather Cpl. Oscar Champney, 7th O.V.I. Regiment, survivor of 15 civil war battles including Gettysburg. After the war, Oscar contracted to haul cut-stone from the banks of the Cuyahoga River to build the Erie Railroad shops in Kent. Harold's other grandfather Charles Daniel Ruggles was a veteran of the 128th O.V.I. Regiment serving as a prison guard for Confederate officers on Johnson Island on Lake Erie near Sandusky. C.D. served in the Kent Fire Department for ten years and was Marshall and member of the Kent Police Force for 10 years.
Upon graduation from Stow High School in 1943 Harold and Harry were drafted and served in the US Army until the end of the war. Harry was sent to Europe and Harold served with the 43rd Infantry Division on Luzon, Philippines and in the 97th Infantry Division in Japan. Upon his return from the Pacific, he and Harry built their homes on the old family farm on Call Road where they had lived since 1938.
Harold was a member of the Captain Brady Post of the V.F.W., American Legion Post 175 in Stow, Kent Lions Club (Melvin Jones Fellowship), Kent Canadian Club, Kent Social Services Volunteer, Associated Ohio Sportsmen as an avid fisherman, Kent Men's Garden Clubs of America, Stow Presbyterian Church, Duneland Chapter of the Indiana Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, along with several other organizations.
During his career with Shell Oil Company, he moved his family to Fremont, Kettering, Columbus and Florissant, Missouri. While in Columbus, Ohio as the Shell Dealer Management Development Center Instructor, he served on the Troop Committee of Boy Scout Troop 172 and camped and hiked with his sons for 5 years. He was a member and leader of Hoge Memorial Presbyterian Church in Columbus.
When he returned to Stow from Florissant in 1970, he owned and operated Plaza Shell at the corner of Cherry and Water Street in Kent along with his dedicated employees. Later, the location became Ruggles Amoco. Many Kent residents and students relied on Ruggles Amoco's mechanics and 3 service bays for maintenance and repairs on their vehicles until his retirement in 1987.
Harold is survived by wife Mary Lou, and five children, Harold Thomas (Tom) (Cynthia Casto) of Hartsville, Indiana, Wayne Alan (Cynthia Young) of Georgetown Kentucky, Ruth Ellen (Cuyahoga Falls), Mary Kathryn Rickenbacher (William) of Peninsula, and Jo Ann of Stow. Harold and Mary Lou leave a legacy of five children, ten grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Harold was a good husband, father and citizen and will be missed by his family and many friends. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
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Posted online on May 24, 2021