James W. Ruckman, 75, passed away peacefully at his Middlebourne, W.Va., residence on Sept. 20, 2012, after a long illness.
Born in St. Marys, W.Va. on Oct. 9, 1936, he was the son of the late Eugene and Margaret Wilson Ruckman.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Peggy (John) Barkwill of Winter Park, Fla.
He is survived by beloved companion, Vera Henthorn and her family; daughters, Suzanne (Vince) Nowell of Ft. Myers, Fla., and Deirdre (Allen) Appel of Gaithersburg, Md.; and sister, Rebecca (David) Boggs of Mt. Vernon, Ind. Also surviving are four grandchildren; four nephews; a great-niece; and two great-nephews.
Jim was a graduate of St. Marys High School Class of 1954 and also of WVU. He was a proud U.S. Marine and Vietnam era veteran, always standing by the motto "Semper Fi." In 1972, he was bestowed the Governor's Distinguished West Virginian Award. He was an "admiral" in the Cherry River Navy.
Jim was a loyal and lifetime follower of Mountaineer sports. Considering himself "the one true un-reconstructed native-born West BY GOD Virginian," he was deeply interested in the history of his family, Pleasants County and West Virginia. As a gifted raconteur of funny stories and jokes, he was adept at making tall tales taller. Maintaining "Rockertalk" on the Pleasants County GenWeb, he provided "A Rockerbilly Prayer": "Give me a sense of humor, Lord, Give me the grace to see a joke, To get some humor out of life, And pass it on to other folk." Jim never met a stranger, made friends easily, had a big heart and will be missed by many.
A memorial service will be held Saturday at Ingram Funeral Home, St. Marys, W.Va. Friends may visit at 1 p.m. until time of the 2 p.m. service.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Disabled American Veterans by visiting www.dav.org/donate or writing to Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250 Attn: Gift Processing.