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Col. Lee Ruggles (USAF, Ret.)

Published on -6/15/2012, 10:04 AM

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Col. Lee Ruggles (USAF, Ret.), 91, died Monday, June 11, 2012.

He was born June 17, 1920, in La Plata, Mo., to Rose and Orville Ruggles. He was a 1942 graduate of Iowa State University.

He married Verlea (Lea) Longley in 1942. He was a U.S. Army Air Corps veteran, serving during World War II. He served 30 years in the U.S. Air Force, reaching the rank of colonel. Upon his retirement, he was awarded the Legion of Merit for his distinguished service. He was proud of his service at Kansas State University. He was assigned in 1964 as commander of the K-State Air Force ROTC detachment and was appointed professor of aerospace studies. By 1968, the K-State ROTC program was recognized as one of the nation's best. He retired from the Air Force in August 1972 and was appointed the first director of employee relations at Kansas State University, a position he had until his retirement in March 1985.

He was an avid K-State fan, enjoying K-State football and men's and women's basketball. He and his wife established the Lea and Lee Ruggles Memorial Scholarship for freshmen from smaller Kansas high schools, a testament to grandsons Chad and John Schoenthaler, Ellis, both K-State graduates.

He was active in the community and served on the Board of Trustees for the Manhattan Public Library. He was Republican precinct chairman for many years. He was active in various other civic organizations.

Survivors include his five children, Chuck, Patti, Tom, Barbara and Rick; his in-laws: Teri, Terry, John and Jill; six grandsons, Chad and wife, Kimberly, John, Pierce, Ben, David and Eric; and a great-grandchild, Emma.

Graveside inurnment will be at 9:30 a.m. Monday in Kansas Veterans Cemetery, Fort Riley, with full military honors.

Family and friends will form a procession to the cemetery at 9 a.m. at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Ave., Manhattan. Services will follow the inurnment at 11:30 a.m. at First United Methodist Church, 612 Poyntz Ave., Manhattan.

Family will greet friends from 10:30 a.m. until time of service Monday at the church.

Memorials are suggested to the Meadowlark Hills Good Samaritan Fund in care of the funeral home.

Condolences can be left for the family at www.ymlfuneralhome.com.

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