Former Juneau resident William Allen "Bill" Ruhle, 74, died Jan. 27, 2004, in Palm Springs, Calif.
He was born March 27, 1929, to William and Edna Ruhle in Chicago. He married Elizabeth "Betty" Barber and lived in Waterloo, Iowa. Looking for adventures and construction employment opportunities, he drove his family of seven up the Alcan Highway to live in Alaska in the early 1960s.
A staunch rank-and-file union member since the 1950s, he rose to Teamster Union business agent in the 1970s and retired from Local 959 in Juneau. During his working years, he was also an avid boatman, commercial fisherman and NASCAR enthusiast. He spent many years with his wife on the waters of Southeast Alaska. They enjoyed the rugged lifestyle of Alaska - travel, fishing, viewing whales, glaciers and the northern lights. He instilled a love of adventure and traveling each of his children. After settling into retirement in Palm Springs, he enjoyed frequent visits from his family.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Elizabeth of Palm Springs; three daughters, Toni Knight, Sukie Selman and Connie LaRose, all of Alaska; two sons, Mike and Daniel Ruhle of Alaska; brothers, David, Jack and Bob Vanderbilt; thirteen grandchildren; and thirteen great-grandchildren.
There will be a private service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Diabetes Association.