Paul Ruddy

Obituary of Paul Ruddy

Paul Robert Ruddy

Paul Robert Ruddy, of Joliet, passed away peacefully on Monday, August 1, 2017, with his beloved family by his side at the age of 79.

Paul is survived by his wife of 55 years, Rita (nee Rub), his children Beth (Larry) Ley, Erin (Eric) Speas, Amy (Jeff) Moore and Greg (Melinda Gunn) and his grandchildren, whom he adored and was so proud of, Caroline and Erin Ley, Jacob, Kyle and Elaina Speas, and Franchesca and Olivia Moore.  Also surviving are his brother Tom of Lake Oswego, OR and sisters-in-law, Janet Trizna of Crest Hill and Mary Young of Dunlap, IL and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He also leaves behind his best friends and fishing buddies, Rocky Carnaghi, Kenny Gould and Dr. Dennis Rio.

Paul was preceded in death by his parents Lena (nee Baiardo) and R. Murray Ruddy, his mother and father-in-law Mary and Raymond Rub, brothers-in-law Dick Trizna and Lee Young and sister-in-law Joan Ruddy.

Paul graduated from St. Patrick’s Grade School in 1952 and Joliet Catholic High School in 1956.  He played basketball for legendary coach Ray Meyer and graduated from DePaul University in 1960. After graduation, he entered the United States Army and was then a member of the Army Reserves until he was honorably discharged in 1969. He worked at Lewis University for 42 years, beginning his career as a physical education teacher and assistant baseball and basketball coach. He held the position of Athletics Director for 25 years, retiring in 2003. He was instrumental in guiding Lewis from the NAIA to NCAA Division II. During his tenure, Lewis held the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) All-Sports trophy more times than any other school in the conference. He held numerous positions for NCAA committees throughout his career.

Paul will be remembered as a kind, compassionate, generous soul. He was a champion of the underdog and treated everyone he met as an equal. He had many, many friends from all walks of life and never forgot a face. He ran into someone he knew everywhere he went. He was hilarious and always had a great story to tell. Most importantly, he had a genuine love for people.

He was an avid fisherman and golfer and a lifelong Cubs fan. He was thrilled when the Cubs won the World Series.  

Of all of his accomplishments, Paul was most proud of his family. There was nothing he would not do for them and never, ever said no to his grandchildren.  One of his greatest joys in life was attending all of their games and activities.

Funeral Services for Paul Robert Ruddy will be held on Monday, August 7, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. from the Fred C. Dames Funeral Home, 3200 Black at Essington Roads. Joliet, IL. to Lewis University the Sancta Alberta Chapel, 1 University Parkway, Romeoville, IL 60446 for a  Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Private family interment will be held at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to be sent to Lewis University in memory of Paul Ruddy or online at Giving - Lewis Alumni & Friends - Lewis University - Alumni & Friends or to the Joliet Area Community Hospice. Visitation will be held on Sunday, August 6, 2017 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home. For information please call 815-741-5500 or visit his Memorial Tribute at www.fredcdames.com