A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, January 17, 2005 at St. Paul's Catholic Church, St. Cloud for Judge E. J. Ruegemer, 102, who died Wednesday, January 12, 2005 at his home. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery, St. Cloud.
Judge E. J. Ruegemer was born in Richmond, MN in 1902. At that time, Richmond only offered one year of high school, so he went to St Cloud and got his high school diploma from night classes at Cathedral and Tech High Schools. He also attended St. Cloud Business College at that time. He then became secretary to the Superintendent of the St. Cloud Reformatory. During that time he realized that he wanted to study law, and while he was employed at the reformatory he took a correspondence course in law at La Salle Extension University. He then was required to study in various law offices at night. He was at the Atwood and Quinlivan law firm and eventually at Harry Burn's law office. He was finally able to take the bar exam in 1934 and passed at the top of his class. He became Harry Burn's assistant county attorney in 1936 for three years. After that time he became judge of Probate and Juvenile court in 1940.
Judge E. J. was very interested in working with youth and worked on Senator Kefauver's committee and also served under Governors Youngdahl and Thye. He was the first one to introduce the Big Brother's organization to the community in 1942. He was appointed District Judge in the 7th Judicial District by Governor Youngdahl in 1947 and served in that capacity until he retired in 1967.
Judge E. J. was a trustee at St. Paul's Catholic Church when the new church was built. He also served in various official positions with the Eagles organization and was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 1992.
He firmly believed in the Ten Commandments as the oldest code of conduct handed down to man. In 1950 he became actively involved in the movement to display the Ten Commandments in judical buildings and schools, always maintaining that "Should the courts decree that they should not be displayed, then the law should be obeyed."
Judge E. J. had many hobbies, loved gardening and making rock gardens. He also enjoyed woodworking and making furniture. He was an avid reader even when his sight was failing at which time he managed to read with the help of a reading machine.
Judge E. J. married Joan Steidl in 1924. She died in 1943. He then married Agnes [Steidl] Gilloley in 1946 and she died in 1975. He was preceded in death by daughter Dorothy, son James and step-son, Jack Gilloley.
Judge E. J. is survived by daughters, Nita Hofmann, Anne Berg and son Karl Ruegemer. He has 12 grandchildren, five step-grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
After he could no longer live at his home on Lake Carlos, he moved to Bonnie's Senior Haven where he was happy and had wonderful loving care.
His family was able to be with him on Christmas and he even joined them in singing his favorite Christmas song "Stille Nacht."
He will always be remembered as a loving father, grandfather, great-grandfather and to his fifth generation, great-great-grandfather.
Source: St Cloud Times, St Cloud, Minnesota, 14 January 2005
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