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Monday, November 13, 2023
10:00 - 11:00am (Eastern time)
Monday, November 13, 2023
11:00am - 12:00pm (Eastern time)
Arthur James Ruis, 96, of Ellsworth, died on November 8, 2023. He was the son of James and Alice Ruis of Ellsworth. Born March 13, 1927, he graduated from Ellsworth Public Schools where he met the love of his life, Maxine Ruth Somerville. Art worked with his father, James, in his auto mechanic garage in downtown Ellsworth during high school, and immediately upon turning 18 he enrolled in the Navy to serve his country during World War II. He attended training in Chicago and then spent a year working in the engine rooms on Navy ships in the Pacific theater before being honorably discharged in July 1946. Upon returning to Ellsworth, he immediately went looking for Max, and he was thrilled (and perhaps relieved) to find her in town waiting for him. They married on November 13, 1947.
Art continued working with his father as an auto mechanic after returning to Ellsworth, and he built his family a home on Main Street in Ellsworth over the next several years, working on the house late into the night most nights after working in the garage all day. It was truly a labor of love.
Eventually Art took over the garage from his father, operating it until his retirement in 1991, and he continued to do small engine repair from his home shop for many years thereafter. Known affectionately by many in the community as "Smart" Ruis, Art could fix any machine or engine he ever laid hands on, and built plenty of them from scratch as well. His mechanic skills were legendary, but so were his generosity and strength of character. He earned the respect of every person who knew him, but particularly that of his family, who thought the world of him.
In retirement, he enjoyed camping in Sault Ste. Marie, where he spent countless hours logging the ships that passed through the Soo Locks. He remained fascinated by ships and mechanical wonders for all of his days. Even after his camping days were behind him, Art enjoyed watching ships during day trips to the Locks, or even just to Charlevoix to watch the ships docking at St. Mary's Cement Plant.
Art dotingly cared for Max in her later years as she suffered from dementia, and she preceded him in death in 2010. He has missed her terribly, but he is now rejoicing at being reunited with her in Heaven.
Art was also preceded in death by his parents, James and Alice; his sister, Geneva (Hans) DeYoung, his daughter, Patricia Hawn, and a grandson, Collin Ruis. He is survived by sons Randall (Cynthia) Ruis of Charlevoix and Donald (Danielle) Ruis of Tampa, FL; grandchildren Hilary Hawn, Amanda (Jeff) Skeel, Aaron Hawn, Bradley Ruis, and Natalie Ruis; great-grandchildren Parker and Emily Skeel, niece Judith (Robert) Vollmer, nephew Dean (Jennai) DeYoung, and many grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
Memorial services will be held on November 13, 2023 at Belltower Reformed Church in Ellsworth, where Art was a member all his life. Family and friends are welcome to call at a visitation beginning at 10 am, with the funeral service to follow at 11am. After the service, Art will be laid to rest next to his beloved wife, Maxine, at Atwood Cemetery.
Memorial contributions in Art's name may be made to Good Samaritan Family Services in Ellsworth, PO BOX 206, Ellsworth, MI 49729.
Arrangements are in the care of the Ellsworth Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Please sign his online guestbook www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com.