Benedict J. "Ben" Ruhland, 98, a Le Mars native and lifelong resident, died Tuesday Oct. 3, 2006, at Plymouth Manor Care Center in Le Mars.
Ben was born May 25, 1908, at Le Mars, the son of John and Elizabeth (Sitzmann) Ruhland. On Jan. 5, 1932, he married Leona Kemp at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Le Mars, and to this union seven children were born. The couple farmed and was engaged in a dairy operation for 44 years south of Le Mars before moving into town in 1972. After moving to town Ben was employed by Wells Blue Bunny as a groundskeeper for several years and also was in charge of all tree trimming at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds for many years.
Ben was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, the Holy Name Society, Knights of Columbus, Trinity Council #1466 in Le Mars, and was a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus, Garrigan Assembly in Sioux City. He was also a member of the Milk Association and the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie 1381 in Le Mars.
Ben was also an avid card player and was not only a member of the Holy Thursday Card Club, but was a co-founder, charter member and president of the club.
He enjoyed family, friends, cards, woodworking, and traveling, especially out east to visit relatives.
Ben is survived by his wife Leona Ruhland of Le Mars; six children, Ron Ruhland and his wife Ellen of Remsen, Larry Ruhland and his wife Dorothy of Le Mars, La Vonne Loutsch and her husband Paul of Remsen, Dan Ruhland and his wife Charleen of Remsen, Mary Lee Neubrand and her husband Don of Le Mars, and Glenn Ruhland and his wife Alice of Le Mars; 24 grandchildren; 57 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. He is also survived by a brother, Tony Ruhland and his wife Dottie of Le Mars; two sisters, Lorene Droessler of Dickeyville, Wis., and Betty Meylor and her husband Paul of Le Mars; a sister-in-law Doris Ruhland of Le Mars; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a infant daughter Joyce Ann Ruhland; a daughter-in-law Mary Margaret Ruhland; two brothers: Francis and Art Ruhland; a sister, Sister Mary Avila Ruhland, O.S.F.; a brother-in-law, Norbert Droessler; and a sister-in-law, Dona Ruhland.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Le Mars, with the Rev. James Tigges officiating. The Rev. Tim Johnson, Msgr. Michael Sernett, and the Rev. Roger Linnan will concelebrate. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery in Le Mars.
Visitation at St. Joseph's Church will be after 2 p.m. today (Thursday) where there will be a rosary at 4 p.m., a Scriptural wake service at 7 p.m., and a Knights of Columbus rosary at 8 p.m., followed by a 4th Degree Knights of Columbus wake service.
The Feuerstein Funeral Home in Le Mars is in charge of arrangements.
Pallbearers will be Ronnie Ruhland, Larry Ruhland, Dan Ruhland, Glenn Ruhland, Paul Loutsch, and Don Neubrand.
Honorary pallbearers will be Lisa Freking, Guy Ruhland, Curt Ruhland, Gary Loutsch, Russ Ruhland, Tim Neubrand, and Chad Ruhland.
Memorials may be directed towards Catholic Education, either to Gehlen Catholic School in Le Mars or St. Mary's Catholic School in Remsen.