Kenneth James Ruiz


LEAF RIVER – Kenneth James Ruiz, 80, of Leaf River went to be with his Lord and Savior on Dec. 18, 2018.  Born on March 18, 1938 in Rockford, son of Vicente and Winona (West) Ruiz. 

Kenn attended West High School and graduated from Wheaton Academy. He obtained his Bachelor degree from Wheaton College and his Master’s degree from University of Illinois. He was united in marriage to Patricia Long on Dec. 26, 1964 in Rockford. Kenn began his career at Lincoln Middle School, where he taught general science classes, and later taught at Guilford High School where he taught chemistry, biology and anatomy/physiology. Kenn was truly called to his profession and shared his love of the sciences with all the children he taught over the years by bringing science to life with his animal demonstrations and fun experiments.  Students looked forward to having him as an instructor. 

His faith was very important to him, he loved attending church at the Evangelical Free Church of Mt. Morris, his Bible study group and serving the Lord.  He went on several mission trips to Mexico, including one with his four siblings.  Kenn was devoted to his wife and children. They traveled the country when the kids were young and went on camping and diving trips and other family vacations. His love of adventure and travel continued in his retirement, Kenn and Patricia travelled all over the world.  He was always active and on the move. Kenn had to be doing something productive each day, so that he could reflect on what he accomplished at the end of the day. Kenn was well loved by his entire family and was known for keeping their lives interesting. 

Survived by his wife, Patricia; children, Kendra (Michael) Oltmanns, Kathleen (Keith) Collins, Kirsten (Matt Tomaszewski) Ruiz, Ken (Toni) Ruiz; grandchildren, Danielle (Cory) Ruiz-Williams, Allison Collins, Gavin Collins; great-grandchildren, Camden and Amelia Williams; siblings, Richard (JoAnn) Ruiz, Bonnie Kostantacos, Keith (Darla) Ruiz; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. 

Preceded in death by his parents and sister, Edith Ford. 

Memorial Visitation was on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018 from 1-2 p.m; Celebration of Life was at 2 p.m. at Evangelical Free Church of Mt. Morris, 102 S. Seminary Ave. Pastor Bruce McKanna officiated. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the family for a memorial fund to be established. Grace Funeral & Cremation Services assisted the family. Share a memory or condolence at