Donald R. Ruggles Sr.

June 26, 1927 ‒ May 03, 2015

Fredericktown, Ohio

Donald R. Ruggles Sr. age 87, of Fredericktown, passed away Sunday May 3, 2015 at the Ohio State University, Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. Don was born June 26, 1927 in Fredericktown, Ohio to Clifford and Hazel (Doyle) Ruggles. He was a member of the Fredericktown High School class of 1945. In 1944 Don enlisted in the United States Merchant Marines and served as Junior Engineer on the Richard R. Hoolihan from 1944 to 1947 hauling equipment and servicemen. In 1957 Don enlisted in the United States Air Force where he spent 21 years as a personnel superintendent in Michigan, Alaska, Japan, Georgia and Ohio, retiring in 1972 at Robins Air Force Base. Don returned to Fredericktown, Ohio and operated Ruggles Electric and Heating for 20 years.

He purchased a team of mules and spent numerous days and hours with his family and grandchildren going on trail rides, wagon trains, going to county fairs, schools, parades, senior citizen gatherings, nursing homes and church events.

Don was a faithful member of the Fredericktown United Methodist Church. He loved nature, animals, the out-of-doors, and hunting.

Surviving are his wife of 57 years Janis (Mock) Ruggles; 2 sons and daughters-in-law Cliff and Debbie Ruggles of Mount Vernon and Don Jr. and Carol Ruggles of Fredericktown and daughter and son-in-law Larry and Lynne Overly of Fredericktown; 10 grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; his brother C. James Ruggles of Dalton, Georgia; and sisters and brothers-in-law Eileen and Willie Ruhl of Fredericktown and Carolyn and Hank Edwards of Plano Texas. Besides his parents Don was preceded in death by a sister Ruth Fisher and brothers Robert M. Ruggles and Harold L. Ruggles.

Friends may call Thursday from 5PM to 8PM and Friday from 10AM to 11AM at the Fredericktown United Methodist Church, 123 Columbus Road, Fredericktown, Ohio 43050. A funeral service will be held at the church on Friday at 11AM with Rev. Dr. Keith Bohley officiating. Burial with military honors by the Knox County Joint Veterans Council will follow at Forest Cemetery in Fredericktown.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Fredericktown Historical Society or the Fredericktown United Methodist Church.

To send an online condolence or share a memory of Don, visit

The Snyder Funeral Home in Fredericktown is honored, to have been chosen, to serve the family of Donald R. Ruggles Sr.


  • Sorry to hear of Uncle Don’s passing. Glad my mom, sister and I got to visit with him 2 weeks ago. Thinking of all of his family!!

  • Don was such an enjoyable person to be around. Many will miss his enthusiasm for sharing his mule passion/rides with others. Prayers for comfort and peace to all of you.

  • Janis and families, so sorry for the lose of your loved one , many blessings and prayers at this time of sorrow.

  • Don was awesome, he had a T-shirt made for me when I was maybe 10 that said the East Moundvale menace because my parents lived in East Moundvale haha. I always enjoyed going out to his house and seeing his pigs when I was a kid. I was fortunate to have known him .Great man, he will be missed.

  • Out thoughts and prayers are with you all at this difficult time. May he rest in peace.

  • Sorry to hear of Don’s passing. I will always remember Don’s giving personality. When I was a kid our family was blessed with a few late night and weekend calls of Don working on the electric furnace or water heater so we didn’t have to do without heat or hot water. I will always remember him teaching me to drive his mule team at Dudgeon’s Farm on the Heart of Ohio Tour. He will be lovingly remembered.

  • Aunt Janis- may you and the whole family feel God’s comforting touch in this sad time. You are in our thoughts and prayers down here in WV.

  • Dear Friends, So sorry to read about your loss. Don was always so friendly and had a smile for everyone. We are sending you our deepest sympathy. Dick and Susan Huggins/Fredericktown

  • Dear Ruggles Family so sorry for your loss Our Prayers go out to you all! GOD BLESS!

  • Dear Ruggles Family God Bless You all . our prayers go out to you all!

  • So sorry for your loss. We will be remembering your family in our thoughts and prayers. So many good thoughts come to mind when we think of Don and his mules. Sorry we couldn’t make the calling hours. Tom has been battling a kidney stone and has been in a lot of pain so we aren’t going far from home. Just know that our prayers are with you even if we can’t be there.

  • so sorry to hear about don,may god be with you and your family in this time of need.don was a wonderful man and a insperation to all who new him

  • To The Ruggles Family,

    We extend our deepest sympathy to you at the passing of your loved one. He wasa friendly person and loved by many. May God give you peace and comfort in the coming days as only he can do.