Hugh Wesley Ruckdeschel passed in peace on Sunday, September 4, 2022, at the age of 90, in comfort with his devoted daughters. Preceded in death by his longtime companion, Sue Lamont, his parents, John Francis Ruckdeschel and Edith Marion Ruckdeschel, and his brothers, Phillip, and Robert. He leaves behind his loving brother John Ruck, former wife, Janet Ruckdeschel, sons Michael Ruckdeschel and Martin Ruckdeschel, daughters Teresa Brunton and Tammi Risk, grandchildren, Amber Ruckdeschel, Ashley Pedone, Blaine Brunton, Connor Brunton, Wesley Brock, Christopher Ruckdeschel and Sara Risk, great-grandchildren, London Pedone, Elliot Brunton and Zane Brunton. He is further survived by several nieces and nephews.
A native to St. Petersburg, Florida, Hugh spent his childhood discovering Pinellas County and the Pinellas Beaches. He was extremely fond of Treasure Island where he later became a well-known resident. Enlisting in the Army at the age of 17, Hugh served as Sergeant First Class G, 2nd Battalion, (5th Regimental Combat Team) 5th Infantry Regiment, 71st Infantry Division. He became an Ammunition Specialist and fought combat ground battle in the Korean War, receiving 3 Purple Hearts for being severely injured in the line of duty. He also received the Good Conduct Medal, Army Occ Medal in Germany, Korean Service Medals, the United Nations Service Medal, and many other awards and mentions.
Hugh married and raised 4 children, residing in Pinellas County where he served as a Councilman for the city of St. Petersburg throughout the 70’s. Hugh was a self-made man, and accomplished nearly everything he set his mind to, including continuing education after the war, serving his community, working as an electrician, journeyman, IBEW Business Agent, a licensed Realtor, a writer for the St. Pete Evening Independent, a dedicated member to his fellowship, and countless other accomplishments. While residing on Treasure Island, Hugh was known as the T.I. Poet for his poetry contributions to the Island Reporter Newspaper and served as Commander of the American Legion.
Hugh will be fondly remembered by family and friends for his strong personality, his pride and determination, his story telling and humor, his perseverance, and his steadfast loyalty. He was a force to be reckoned with, a respected and strict intellect and a soldier in war and life, Hugh’s character, work ethic, strength and courage will be cherished and admired always.
Dementia and PTSD robbed Hugh from much of his last years. But through it all he remained strong, dignified, purposeful, and proud. His memory will be cherished and kept thriving by all who knew and loved him.
Thanks to Suncoast Hospice/Empath Health, the VA Home Base Primary Care, and Inspired Living at Ivy Ridge for all their support, dedication, and medical excellence and for their respectful compassion for Hugh until his final day.
A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, September 25, 2022, at Anderson McQueen Funeral Home, 2201 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33704 from 4pm until 6pm. Military Funeral Honors will be held on Monday, September 26, 2022, at Bay Pines National Cemetery, 10000 Bay Pines Blvd., Bay Pines, FL 33708, begins promptly at 9am.
To View the Memorial Service Live: CLICK HERE
Commital Service with Military Honors will be Recorded and available to view Monday Evening.