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Obituary: Ruddell, Daniel Lewis

Age 87

RUDDELL, Daniel Lewis (Age 89) While telling his children and grandchildren beside him, “it’s been a beautiful life”, Dan passed away Sunday night, January 20th, after a brief illness at Spokane Valley Hospital. Dan was born May 12, 1923, in Bovill, Idaho, the seventh of eleven children to Guy and Elizabeth Ruddell. Shortly thereafter, his family moved to Moscow, Idaho, where he grew up and graduated from high school. After graduating, Dan enlisted in the U.S. Army at Ft. Douglas, Utah. He went through basic training with the 10th Mountain Division at Camp Carson, Colorado, and served in the 604th Headquarters Battery Field Artillery unit attached to the 85th Infantry as a forward observer throughout northern Italy during World War II. He was honorably discharged on December 24, 1945, receiving numerous ribbons and awards, including the Good Conduct Medal and Bronze Star. After the war, Dan returned to the Inland Northwest where he met the true love of his life, Joann Sisco. They married on August 30th, 1947, and settled down in Greenacres, where Dan started driving a fuel truck for the Standard Oil Company. Later, he became superintendent of the Corbin Water/Consolidated Irrigation District, from which he retired after more than 20 years of work. Dan and Joann celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary last summer. Dan developed a fondness for pack mules while serving in the Army, so he and Joann bought a farm where they raised three children, lots of mules, and other farm animals. In addition to farming, Dan was an avid outdoorsman and fisherman. There wasn’t a lake, stream or river within a 300 mile radius of Spokane that he didn’t like. He rode with the Gentleman on Horseback, and joined the North Idaho Saddle Mule Club where he participated on the Wenaha Log-Trough Gang in the Tucannon Wilderness (1991). As well, Dan was an active member of the 10th Mountain Division’s Big Sky and Mt. Rainier Chapters and took his family to the ‘Hale and Farewell’ Reunion for the 10th Mountain Division held in Denver, Colorado, in 2007. More recently, some of dad’s greatest joys were riding around his farm on his four-wheeler, and spending time in his man cave with his fishing buddies, friends and family, where he spent hours telling war stories and big fish tales. Dan was preceded in death by all of his siblings, and by his wife, Joann, who passed away just 24 days earlier (December 27th), and by his brother-in-law and good friend, Bud Skredsvig, who passed away January 4th. Dan will be dearly missed by his children, George Ruddell (Donna), Danny Ruddell, and Cathy Sturman; grandchildren, David Ruddell (Jaime), Brian Ruddell (Heather), Kendra Oliphant (friend Eric Gustafson), Justine and Maria Ruddell, Tyler and Travis Sturman, and great-grandchildren, Abby Ruddell, Joseph, Sophia, and Nicholas Oliphant. He also leaves behind other family members including Carol Poole (husband Ken), Don Gorle (wife DeeAnn), and many nieces and nephews. The family would like to extend a special thank you to Joe Herrera for all of his kindness and support to dad over these past many years. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made in Dan’s name to the 10th Mountain Descendant Merit Scholarship Fund, c/o 10th Mountain Division Descendants, Inc., P.O. Box 20011, New York, NY 10017-0001. A joint memorial service and celebration of life for Dan and Joann will be held at the family farm in May, 2013. Dad - the older you got, the better you were!