North Providence – James Richard Ruegg, 67, of North Providence entered into eternal life on November 1, 2018, reunited with his beloved granddaughter, Valancy Stirling Baro, his parents, Walter and Marie (Waldbuser) Ruegg, and his dear friend, Ronald Campbell.
Jim was raised in the St. Louis, MO area, graduated from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX, and started his family in St. Albans, WV before moving to RI to begin work with Amica Life Insurance Company, where he retired in 2015 after 30 years.
During his years in RI, Jim was active in his daughters’ educational and sports pursuits, coaching basketball, offering advice, packing for college, and attending countless PawSox and PBruins games. He was a devout Catholic who rectored retreats for teens and married couples, and attended daily Mass for many years.
Upon approaching his retirement, Jim prepared his body and mind for a 581-mile walk across the country of Spain, starting at the French border and ending at the Atlantic Ocean. Armed with a cell phone and a backpack, Jim completed the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) in 40 days, making a true pilgrim. He journeyed on “the Way” again in 2017.
Jim married his wife, Cheryl (Pearson) Ruegg in 2008, and they enjoyed their loving years together watching grandbabies grow and take multiple vacations with family. In August, they traveled to Alaska, completing Jim’s mission to visit all 50 United States.
Besides his wife, Jim is survived by his cherished daughters, Erin Baro (Justin), Teresa Rouillard (Shawn), and Christina Boudreau (Tee Jay), as well as stepsons, Eric McNeely, and Jason McNeely (Karlyn). Jim was the fun, devoted GrandDad of Jamie, Clare, Simon, Violet, Eliza, Cecily, Lucy, Lizzie, Casey, Finlay, Valancy, and Aidan. He also leaves his siblings, Terry Ruegg (Lynn), Don Ruegg (Pat), Joan Gruendler (Steve), and Mike Ruegg, as well as dear friends, Leslie and Bill Hunt, and many nieces and nephews.
Jim was a friend to many and a stranger to none, and he will be greatly missed. Buen Camino, peregrino. We love you.
His Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday, November 6 at 10 A.M. in St. Augustine’s Church, 639 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Providence. His burial will follow in Diamond Hill Cemetery, Cumberland.
Relatives and friends are invited and may call at Bellows Funeral Chapel, 160 River Road, Lincoln Monday 5-8 P.M. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Jim’s memory to Hope Hospice and Palliative Care of Rhode Island, 1085 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02904-9826 or American Pilgrims on the Camino, 120 State Avenue NW, #303, Olympia, WA 98501 would be appreciated. For Directions and Guest Book, please visit www.bellowsfuneralchapel.com.
Hope Hospice & Palliative Care of Rhode Island
1085 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02904
American Pilgrims on the Camino
120 State Avenue, #303, Olympia WA 98501