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Richard Ruckman May 13, 1937 – March 2, 2012

  Richard Ruckman, age 74, of Branson, Missouri died Friday, March 2, 2012, at his home in Branson.

Richard was born May 13, 1937 to Melvin J. ‘Dick’ and Hazel (Lee) Ruckman on a farm in Union county near Afton, Iowa. The family moved to Shannon City, Iowa in 1938.

At a young age Richard delivered newspapers around town on a motor scooter. This began his interest in motorcycles and later he enjoyed riding a Harley Davidson with friends. Richard grew up in his father’s International Harvester dealership working on farm equipment, cars, selling gas and learning to run a business. In school he took part in plays and played basketball.  He graduated from Shannon City high school in 1955.

On November 18, 1956, Richard married Sue Terwilliger of Mount Ayr, Iowa. To this union three children were born, Larry Dean, Chris Alan and Karen Elaine.

In 1964 the family moved from Shannon City to Centerville, Iowa, where Richard worked for International Harvester. In 1967 he went to work for Ford Motor Company as a certified mechanic and then later he worked for the Chevrolet dealership. Richard opened his own business called Ruckman Automotive Service Center in 1983 and he soon came to be known as ‘the best mechanic that can fix everything.’

While in Centerville Richard was a charter member of the Coal Minor Chordsmen and the Four Chordmen Quartet singing tenor.  He especially enjoyed signing at local churches and nursing homes.  He was a member of the First Baptist Church where he served as a deacon, sang in the choir, ran the sound system and served on many boards. He helped design a new addition to the church.

The couple moved to Branson, Missouri in 1998 where Richard went to work for the Branson Scenic Railroad for two years. He then enjoyed working at Thousand Hills Golf Course as a mechanic and shop foreman through 2008. He was a charter member of the Friendly Baptist Church where he was a faithful worker. He helped in designing plans for construction of a new church building, was instrumental in setting up the sound system, served as deacon, played guitar in the worship band, sang solos and sang in the choir and men’s quartet.

Richard really loved his family and being with them. He was always glad to do whatever he could to help them out. He and his wife, Sue, liked showing family and friends around the Branson area. Some of the other things he enjoyed most were reading, golfing, dancing and watching boxing, college basketball and NASCAR races. He especially enjoyed traveling around the 50 states and taking several cruises. Playing his guitar for local care centers always was a blessing to him. He was very proud to drive and show his 1959 Edsel and 1964 Chevy Impala he restored.

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Sue, of Branson, Missouri; two sons, Larry Ruckman and wife Peggy of Centerville, Iowa and Chris Ruckman of Centerville, Iowa; one daughter, Karen Ruckman of Springfield, Missouri; four grandchildren, Paul Ruckman and wife Jennifer of Keota, Iowa, Angela Brown and husband James of Kansas City, Missouri, Becky Salstrand of La Plata, Missouri and Ryannan Ruckman of Villisca, Iowa; six great-grandchildren, Hayley and Dylan Ruckman, Taylor and Ellie Salstrand and Danny and Brooklyn Brown; two sisters, Donna Berdine of Creston, Iowa and Bonnie Nedeau of Vine Grove, Kentucky, and many relatives and friends. Preceding him in death were his parents, Dick and Hazel.

Funeral services were held at the Friendly Baptist Church in Branson with Pastor Cardis Bryan officiating. Visitation was held at the Greenlawn Funeral Home in Branson. 

A graveside service was held Wednesday, March 7, 2012, at Hanes Cemetery, north of Centerville with Pastor Lloyd Johnston officiating. Visitation was held at the Lange Funeral Home in Centerville. 

Memorial contributions may be made to Friendly Baptist Church, Branson, MO.  Condolences may be left at

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