Hector Manuel Ruiz of Charlottesville, Virginia, died on December 19th at age 95.
Hector was born in New York City and grew up in the Bronx. He was preceded in death by his wife Luz Maria Ruiz (née Serrano), his parents Abdón and Perfecta Ruiz, his brother Frank Ruiz, and his sister Milagros Corsi.
After graduating high school, Hector joined the army and served in the occupation of Japan following World War II. He often commented on the kindness of the Japanese people during that time, despite the extreme difficulties they were suffering post-war. This quality of kindness along with a positive approach was an attribute he carried forward and showed to all who knew him. Following his service in the army, Hector worked for the U.S. State Department and was stationed in Morocco. He married Luz Maria, whom he met through his sister. His marriage to her started a beautiful relationship that lasted 69 years, but also ended his State Department career. His position did not allow him to be married.
Hector studied at Queens College and became an accountant. He worked over 30 years for the Sperry Marine Corporation that later became Northrup Grumman. This led him to assignments at Sperry facilities on Long Island and in Charlottesville. He rose to the position of comptroller. After retiring in 1985, he moved back to Charlottesville.
Hector enjoyed biking, visiting family, and helping Luz Maria. He served faithfully as her art assistant framing her many paintings. Hector was tireless and worked on his property far into his elder years. His family remembers one day when an 80+ year-old Hector decided to cut down a large tree in the backyard. He tied an elaborate pattern of ropes to the tree and to the bumper of his car which he had somehow gotten into the backyard. After some chain sawing of the trunk and a little final tug from the car, the tree fell exactly where he wanted. Despite this success, the family permanently retired Hector from further yard duties.
Hector is survived by his children Mary Anne Pace (Michael) of Charlottesville, Paul Ruiz (Katie) of Dubuque, Iowa, and Frank Ruiz (Regina Naegele) of Cupertino, California. Hector was devoted to his ten grandchildren: Nicholas, Zachary, Dominique, Mitchell, Nathan, Natalie, Sara, Juliana, Brendan, Sam, and one great granddaughter: Nora. They will remember his teasing, whistling, and happy disposition. We will all forever cherish the memories of him, especially the encouragement and love he imparted.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Thomas Aquinas on Saturday, December 30th, 2023, at 11 AM.
In lieu of flowers, the family ask that memorial contributions be made to St. Thomas Aquinas University Parish.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.hillandwood.com.