Ronald J. Rueckl|
Ronald ďRonĒ J. Rueckl passed away on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the age of 84. Ron is survived by his wife Marilyn, his three sons Richard Rueckl of Slinger, Robert (Deb) Rueckl of Minneapolis and Ralf (Kelly) Rueckl of West Bend, and his grandchildren Ashley, Rebecca, Whitney and Zachary. He is further survived by his nieces, nephews, relatives and dear friends. Ron is preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Phyllis (Gordon) Couse of Ottawa, Canada.
Ron was born on Oct. 25, 1929, in Luxemburg, Wis., to Richard and Margaret (nee Arendt) Rueckl and he spent the majority of his 84 years serving those around him, including 37 years in the Slinger School District.
Music was Ronís first love. After earning his degree in music from St. Norbertís College in Green Bay, he came to Slinger in 1954 as the districtís music director. In 1957 he became the high school principal while maintaining his leadership of the music program. It was also at that time that he met Marilyn Ziegelbauer, his beloved wife of 56 years. Ron and Marilyn were married later that year on Dec. 28, 1957.
Several years later, Ron reluctantly gave up his role in the music program to focus full time on school administration. He continued his education at the University of Madison where he earned a masterís degree with an emphasis in education administration. Ron served as the districtís high school principal for 20 years, guiding and mentoring several generations of Slinger area students. Ron was promoted to district administrator in 1977 and continued to serve the district for 14 more years until his retirement in 1991.
Music always remained in Ronís heart and the Slinger music program flourished under his administration. Today, the Slinger music program is renowned for its excellence. He also was a creative artist, known for his many doodles of the Slinger Owl mascot. Ron was a man of vision and many talents, and under his leadership the district grew in multiple areas of excellence. His skills as a visionary made way for many innovative ideas and future planning, the effects of which can still be seen today.
Ron also served the broader community through his involvement in the Slinger park program. In the early years, part of his role as music director was to run the village summer recreation program, where he taught music and his good friend, Bill Haendel, taught art. Years later, working with other community leaders, he started Slingerís first formal parks and recreation program, which has grown to include multiple area parks today. His legacy of leadership in the parks program was commemorated in 1997 by the dedication of Rueckl Fields.
Ronís other community accomplishments included president of Slinger Advancement association, Slinger Rotary Club president and Paul Harris Fellowship recipient.
After retirement in 1991, Ron and Marilyn enjoyed a winter residence at Deer Creek Resort near Orlando. Ron continued to contribute his leadership and administrative talent to the Deer Creek community where he spent 12 years serving as president of the board directors of this Florida family community. He will be greatly missed by the members of this community.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, at St. Peter Catholic Church, 200 E. Washington St. in Slinger, with the Rev. Richard Stoffel presiding. Visitation will be held at the church prior to the service, from 3-6:15 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes that donations be made in Ronís name to Honours Inc., a nonprofit foundation that provides education scholarships to students of Slinger High School. This foundation was always very dear to Ronís heart.
The Phillip Funeral Home of West Bend is assisting the family; (262) 338-2050 / www.phillipfuneralhome.com.