Robert D. ‘Bob’ Ruhl Sr.

August 28, 1945 ‒ January 08, 2018

Mount Gilead, Ohio

The Mount Gilead community mourns the loss of a great man, their protector, former Police Chief Robert D. “Bob” Ruhl Sr.  He died peacefully on Monday, January 8, 2018, at home surrounded by his loving family, following a courageous battle with cancer.  He was 72 years old.

On August 28, 1945, Bob was born in Galion, Ohio, to Laura (Woodward) Ruhl and the late Donald M. Ruhl.  In his youth, he attended Pleasant Grove Church of Christ and Johnsville High School. He left school early to work for Herb and Margaret Litt, showing cattle at county and state fairs. He went on to own an excavating business and worked for Mansfield Asphalt while attending Ohio Police Officer Training Academy (OPOTA).

After long days of training at the police academy, Bob enjoyed stopping for pie and tea at the Freeway Inn restaurant, where Norma Walton was a cook and took a liking to Bob.  Subsequently, Norma helped set up a blind date with Bob and her daughter, Vicky Walton. That blind date was on October 20, 1967, and for Bob, life would never be the same.  He quickly knew she was the one, proposing two short months later, and they were married on July 20, 1968.  Bob and Vicky were best friends and soul mates and felt blessed to spend the past forty-nine and a half years building a wonderful life together, with their three children and their families.

In August of 1968, Bob joined the Mount Gilead Police Department, a job he took with great pride.  He served as an officer until 1976, when he was promoted to Chief.  Police Chief Bob Ruhl was a great leader for the community, his officers will tell you he never asked them to do anything he wouldn’t do himself.  Story after story could be told about how Bob was an inspiring teacher and mentor to the officers in his care.  Further, Bob loved the people of the Mount Gilead community, serving them for a total of twenty eight years, until his retirement in 1993.

Many in the Mount Gilead community will also remember Bob on his many lawnmowers.  For many years he enjoyed working with his son, Bobby Jr., mowing lawns all over the county for their business, B & B Lawn Care.  He also loved using his tractors to pull the children of the community around in “Bob’s Barrels of Fun”.

A true outdoorsman, Bob had a lifelong passion for hunting and anything gun related.  He often taught hunter safety, and was an original member of the Morrow County Conservation Club, Life Member of the NRA, Life Member of the Ohio Gun Collectors Club, Tri-State Gun Collectors, Mansfield Gun Club and the Handlebar Ranch Archery Club.  Bob was a very skilled gunsmith and marksman, and had a gun or bow in his hands for most of his life.  He operated “Ruhl’s Gun Shop” out of his home for nearly twenty years, teaching hundreds of people to respect firearms and enjoy safe shooting.

A big kid at heart, Bob was often asked by kids in his neighborhood to “come out and play.”  He always loved plowing snow, and couldn’t help himself but to always build a snowman before the work was done.

Whenever you think of Bob Ruhl, you will always think of a true gentleman who had a twinkle in his eyes and a smile that took all your troubles away.  He was a man who always performed random acts of kindness, and who firmly believed in supporting the local businesses of the community.  Filled with gratitude, Bob always said “thank you” for even the smallest deed.  To his family, he was their “Hero”, especially to his precious grandchildren.

Left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife, Vicky Ruhl; three children: Robert “Bobby” (Shannon) Ruhl Jr., Robyn (Matt) Graham, and Rachel (John) Phipps; five grandchildren: Thomas Ruhl, Gavin and Mallory Graham, and Alex and Ava Phipps; his mother, Laura Ruhl; two brothers: David (Dayle) Ruhl, and Edwin (Judy) Ruhl; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Including his father, Bob was preceded in death by his brother and sister-in-law, Frank (Carol) Ruhl.

His family will greet friends from 1-7 p.m. on Sunday, January 14, 2018, at the Snyder Funeral Homes, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St. Mount Gilead, where local officers will stand to honor his police service.  They will again greet friends on Monday from 10-11 a.m., where services celebrating his life will follow at 11 a.m., with his friend and former officer, Pastor Garry Stevens, officiating.  Police honors will then follow outside the funeral home.  The community is invited to dress warmly and surround the downtown monument in Mount Gilead, as the Mount Gilead Police and Fire Departments will perform Bob’s last ride through town.  For those not attending the funeral, but would like to honor him, this procession will take place at approximately 12:00 Noon.

On behalf of Bob’s family, they would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to everyone in the Blood and Marrow Transplant unit on the 14th floor at the Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital, for making Bob feel like family and enduring his 50’s music.  Also, “thank you” to everyone with Hospice of Morrow County for making Bob so comfortable at home in his final days.

In keeping with Bob’s wishes, flowers would be welcome if purchased from local florists to help support the community.  If you wish to make a memorial contribution, please support Hospice of Morrow County, 228 South St., Mount Gilead, OH 43338 or Mount Gilead Police K-9 Unit or Mount Gilead Fire Dept., 72 West High St, Mount Gilead, OH 43338.

Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead are honored to serve Bob’s family and your thoughts may be shared with them via

  • To the Ruhl family, We are so sorry for your loss! May God comfort you at this difficult time!

  • Our sympathy to the Ruhl Family. We a saddened to learn of Bob’s passing. His friendship was indeed a blessing to us. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • So sorry for your loss. Bob was a special kind of guy, never saw a stranger. May he rest in peace. Prayers for the family.

    The Bob Wertz family

  • Love and prayers for the entire family. Bob was an amazing person, who always had a smile on his face, and brought smiles to many others. He will be dearly missed. Heaven has gained a beautiful sole, that will continue to brighten others spirits, every time he is thought of, or at the mention of his name.

  • Our Hearts and Prayers are with you all… His Love for his family was Deep and worn on his sleeve… Your Hearts will be Filled with his love and wonderful memories.
    Steve and Lisa Markley

  • Vickie, Please accept our condolences. Sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. Prayers to all your family.

  • Bob was an amazing man who was kind and gentle. He loved his family with all of his heart. I’m so sorry for your loss, may God give you peace and comfort during this difficult time. Your all in my thoughts and prayers. Much love

  • I am so sorry to hear of your loss! My Dad will be sure to meet him at Heaven’s Gates. Bob was such a memorable man with a great smile. My dad thought so much of him! Sending love & hugs!!

  • Bob was a great friend. He will be missed at the table uptown. Brad and I send our deepest sympathies to your family. God bless.

    • We can think of so many memories our family has of Bob. As we read through some of the other condolences honoring Bob, one can only hope for half the number of friends he had and all the kind words leave little doubt about the man he was and the example he lived that has made his family proud and our comnunity a much better place for having the privilege of having such a pillar. We will miss him but know he is in a much better place. We are glad and honored the Hatfields’ could call him “friend.” Love and prayers to you all.

  • So sorry for your loss Bob was a wonderful man and a good friend over the years he will be greatly missed.Prayers and love to the family

  • Mr. Bob was one of the nicest and kindest men I’ve ever met. I always looked forward to seeing Bob at breakfast on Thursday mornings over the past nine years. Seeing his smile and hearing his laugh made my day. Breakfast will never be the same. My condolences and prayers to the Ruhl family.

  • My thoughts are with all of you. Such a sad feeling in my heart. Bob was a great man and a huge influence on me as a young man. Prayers to you all.

  • To the Ruhl family; we are so sorry for your loss. Bob was a great man and always willing to help a friend or his community. Our prayers are with you. Rest in Heaven, Bob.

  • Bob will be deeply missed by many. Enjoyed having breakfast with him. And going to the shooting range
    He was a very special guy

  • Bob got his wings and heaven gained another angel. He was a wonderful man and loved by so many. Mt. Gilead was better because of him. May he Rest In Peace. He will be missed.
    Dave and Maxine Packer

  • Sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. God’s peace and understanding during these trying times. Pray you will find comfort in his love.

  • I am so sorry to hear about Bob . I knew him a long time . I went to school with his daughter Robin we were in the same grade . I give my condolences to the family of the loss to a Great man . May he RIP .

  • Vickie and family,

    With sadness we read this news, but heaven is rejoicing and so is Bob on his arrival before His true Father.

    Will miss him at coffee and seeing his face among the rest. Prayers for you and your family.

    Jim and Teresa Burson

  • I’m so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. A true angel gained his wings. Bob always put a smile on your face whenever you saw him. He will be greatly missed in this community.

  • Vickie and family, I was like no when I seen the post. I loved living in the neighborhood. Bob was a great neighbor and we are proud to have called him friend. God bless you all.

  • Sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers for your family. May you rest in peace in heaven. Another empty chair at the breakfast table at the restaurant.

  • So sorry to hear this…..he was a great neighbor …and a great friend…..he was a very caring person. Prayers to his family. Again I’m so sorry

  • We send our sympathy. I worked with Bob for many years, and enjoyed his friendship. He will be missed.

  • To the Ruhl family,
    We got to know Bob in a very special way when he come to our place one dnd asked for a job, taking care of our show cattle at many county fairs and the state fair. He was a super “Herdsman” and friend to all of us. We will certainly miss seeing his smile, Bob was like one of our own kids, “ornery”! All of our family knew him as a SUPER GREAT GUY and loved him.
    Herb, Margaret, Christi, Ted and Brenda Litt

  • We are deeply saddened to hear of Bob’s passing. He gained his wings way to early, but heaven gained a great man. R.I.P. my friend. He never met a stranger and always had a great smile for everybody. We will forever be indebted to him for the sincere talk he had with Dick when he was so sick with cancer. Prayers for God to give you the strength to get through this trying time. Love and hugs to all Ruth Davis and Angie (Davis) Drake.

  • My sincere sympathies to the Ruhl family. I have heard many stories about Bob through Rachel. A good person, father and civil servant who truly cared about the people who crossed his path.
    Celebrate his life and allow time for reflection and grief.

  • Will always remember Bob from my high school days when he was Police Cheif to the great times riding motorcycle on the weekends. He will be.kissed by many.

  • Will always remember Bob from my high school days when he was Police Cheif to the great times riding motorcycle on the weekends. He will be missed by many.

  • Bob was an amazing person to be around. He always lit up the room. He will be sorely missed by many. Warm thoughts go out to his family in the coming days, weeks and months. So sorry for you enormous loss.

  • So sorry for your loss. Bobby was a good man, and I will miss my lifelong friend’s smiling face. Prayers to the family in this time of sorrow.

  • Bobby and family, very sorry for your loss. Bob was a great guy. He was always really good to me. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • So sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. We had many fun motorcycle trips and he was a good man. Prayers for Vicky and family.

  • Our love and sympathy in this time. Bob carried a great influence in our community and will be missed. God’s blessings- Don & Marcella Linn

  • May God be with the family of Bob, during this time of sorrow. Our prayer are with the family and friends.

  • Bob was a great friend to our family. He was one of my Dad’s-who was Roger Kipp-favorite friend. May he be sitting with my Dad and telling stories right now. May you find peace as time moves on

  • My thoughts and prayers are with u ALL,I’M GREATFUL that he had a strong supportive family while he fought the fight ,he was blessed to have u all,what a great man he was ,REST IN PEACE

  • Im sorry for your loss. Bob was one of my costumers always kind and asking how ive been. He will truly be missed!

  • Thoughts and prayers to Bob’s family during this difficult time. He was a class act and role model throughout his life. I am honored to have known him.

  • Vicki and Family,
    So sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. Your in our thoughts and prayers.
    Our sympathy,
    Jim & Rhonda Whited Young

  • Bob was a special man,always a Smile on his face no matter what he was going through. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.Im pretty sure he never knew a stranger. He has been and will be missed at the big table up town.

    .Gary Janet Ruggles ,Jim and Phyllis Smith ,Judy Smith Stricker

  • We are so sorry for your loss. May you find peace in those that surround you with their love and sympathies.

  • Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ruhl family. Wishing you peace to bring comfort and courage for the days ahead, and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts.

  • So sorry to hear of Bob’s passing, truly a wonderful father, and an assist to to community. Our condolences to the family. Max and Barb Weise.

  • My thoughts and prayers go out to the Ruhl family,Bob was a nice man with always a kind word to say. He will be missed

  • Our thoughts and prayers are with Bob’s family at this time. We will always remember his smile and the sparkles in his eyes when we saw him. Bob was a great community leader and a friend to many. We talked many times of our health conditions over the past 3 or 4 years. I know he inspired me with his attitude and I hope I did the same for him.

  • To the Ruhl family so sorry for your loss .Bob was a great guys who will be missed by all that knew him

  • I first met Bob when I was a little girl and he would come out to our farm to groundhog hunt at the South barn. He never forgot his lawn chair and I will never forget his smile. I will definitely miss seeing him sitting out on the porch as I walk my pup down North St now. Such a caring, kind, loving man!

  • Bob was a great man and will be a great man in heaven. Apparently God needs to take some of the best men in that town. So he will be in good company in heaven. His smile was so contagious and the love he had for the community it’s was so great. I always loved seeing him pull the little kids around in the barrels You will be missed but you served a good life to your family and to the community.

  • We have lost a great friend but God has gained an angel. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family in this sad time.

  • Bob was a Great Man and always had a smile on his face.Heaven gained another angel.Prayers for the family remember all the good time’s you all had.

  • Vickie and family: I am saddened to read of Bob’s passing. He was a good and caring man. Praying for your peace and strength.

  • Bob was a special “one of a kind” person. No words can express our sorrow. He will be sorely missed. Mt. Gilead will never be the same wit out him here.

    Lowell and Carol Bartlett

  • Bob was a guy that always had a smile! many great memories! Vicky , Bobby, Robyn, Rachel, we were all blessed to know him, I can only imagine how blessed you all are!!

  • Vickie and family,
    We were so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. We hope good memories and time will help ease the pain of your loss.
    Mike & Anna Beam

  • Rest In Peace Bob. You will be dearly missed. Prayers to your family today, tomorrow and always. Heaven’s gain is our loss. We’re going to miss you Bob!

  • Dear Ruhl family,
    Bob will be so missed by us. I loved his smiling face & conversations around the big table at the restaurant. Prayers to his family.

  • So sorry for the family’s and the community’s loss. Seems like yesterday we watched ball games together. You are in my prayers.

  • So sorry for the loss to the Ruhl Family. He will be missed. I also welcomed his measured and thoughtful outlook on life.

  • Vicky, Bobby, Robyn and Rachel
    Much love and prayers for you ALWAYS! I could not have been more blessed than to have you all for neighbors most of my childhood years!! We had a lot of laughs and adventures together and those are memories that I’ll cherish forever! Although we drifted apart as we started our own families, ill never forget being greeted with a friendly “hello” and a big ole smile every time I saw Bob getting home from work, or even around town as an adult! He was full of life, love and laughter and I consider myself blessed to have know Bob Ruhl! I love you all and I want you to know how very sorry I am for your loss!

  • Dear Friends, we extend our heartfelt condolences to all of you. So many memories of days past, that we can reflect back that brings a smile to us. God gives us a keepsake, in our memories, to help fill the void in our live the days ahead when we are missing our loved ones! We will continue to hold all of your in our prayer in the days ahead. Take care, blessings and love to all……

  • My Dad and I will miss his smiling face at breakfast at the Rusty Horseshoe Sunday mornings. We are so sorry for your loss.

    Dave Shoaf and Deb Shoaf Redick

  • I am sorry to hear on Bob’s passing. A great man! Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Sorry to hear of Bob’s passing remember him in uniform when I was walking to school. ,or deliver ing papers under his watchful eyes

  • Ruhl Family,

    As we visited with you yesterday my heart went out to each of you. My gosh some of you have grown so much! Bob was a loving man of all people and animals. So many great memories of being one of your neighbor’s. As others have said Bob always had a smile on his face no matter what he was tending to he did it with a smile and love in his heart for each person. He truly earned his wings for Heaven on earth. I look forward to seeing you in Heaven some day. God Bless you all.

  • Never did I cross paths with Bob that he didn’t have his signature smile on his face …. Keep your memories close – he was one of the best!

  • Meredith and I were very saddened to hear of Bob’s passing.

    I remember him as Chief when I was growing up, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that watching guys like he and Jim Robinson do the job with kindness and courage was the main reason I later became a cop. I still think of his impact as Chief of Police and still aspire to hold myself to his high standards, personally and professionally. Mount Gilead as a town was lucky to have him, and I as a kid growing up there was lucky to know him.

    It was a pleasant coincidence that we later were across-the-street neighbors on East North Street, and he was about the best neighbor you could ever ask for. Mer’s daughters loved riding in Bob’s Barrels of Fun, and every so often Meredith and I would squeeze our adult frames in those things and take a few laps, too… but I think the person having the most fun was always Bob!

    Vicky, Bobby, Robyn, Rachel, and all the Ruhl family: our condolences. Bob will be missed, but always remembered.

    With love,

    Mark & Meredith Meftah
    Ferndale, Calif.


  • Sending my sincere condolences to family & friends. I knew Bob well as a teenager, I remember his kindness. Fly high Bob!

  • I will never forget all the Good Times we had growing up, Cousin! I was always Proud of you! So Sorry to have lost you!

  • Condolences to the whole Ruhl family, found out about Bob’s passing on day he’s being laid to rest, Bob was always a kind person and never went anywhere without a smile on his face, rest in peace Bob, you’ve been healed for eternity, always remembered, never forgotten.
    Saylor family.