Robert Lee Clinton Ruckriegel, 85, JasperJune 14, 2021
Robert Lee Clinton Ruckriegel, 85, passed away on June 11th, 2021. He is survived by his wife Lovella of 65 years sons Al Ruckriegel (& husband David Adams) of Terre Haute, Indiana and Sid Ruckriegel (& Andrew Rand) of Peoria, Illinois.
Robert (“Bob” to many) was born on July 18th, 1935 in Jasper, Indiana to Clarence & Esther (Braun) Ruckriegel. He was the 3rd of four children – Alfred (& Lois) Ruckriegel, Dorothy (& Ira) McNeely , and Clarence Ruckriegel. Three step-sisters, Margie Kalb, Shirley Humbert, & Mary Lou Zehr, a step-brother John Schott, and step-father Ed Schott completed the family. While several have passed from our lives, they live forever in our hearts.
Bob attended the Ackerman one room schoolhouse before graduating from Jasper High School in 1953. He wed his high school sweetheart, Lovella Mary Sendelweck, in St. Paul’s Church on September 13, 1956.
Seeing the need for a good 24 hour restaurant in their hometown, the Ruckriegels opened Jerry’s Restaurant in 1964. With friend and business partner Dave Buehler, and the opening of this single location, a restaurant company was formed. It would eventually be known as BR Associates with hospitality units in 6 states (IN, KY, MI, IL, NY, FL). The company was built on the philosophy that a good cup of coffee and a genuine smile never goes out of fashion. Weekends were filled with parades, local events, school fundraisers, and making sure the guest was always satisfied. In 1986, Bob Ruckriegel was recognized by the hospitality industry as the 6th largest multi-concept private restaurant group in the nation.
Following in their father’s footsteps, Al and Sid started their own restaurant company operating over 50+ units. In 2014, while celebrating 50 years in the restaurant industry, the Ruckriegels combined both companies to form SERVUS. Today, SERVUS, Inc., a real estate holding company, still defines excellence.
Bob served on many boards including Dubois County Tourism Commission, German American Bancorp, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Northwoods Good Samaritan, Junior Achievement, Jasper Planning Commission, Long John Silver’s Advisory, and Jerrico. He received the Ernst & Young ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ as well as numerous ‘Franchisee of the Year’ awards. Bob was named a Distinguished JHS Alumnus and ‘Good Citizen’ by the Lincoln Heritage Boy Scouts. In 2015, he was an inaugural inductee to the Dubois County Business Hall of Fame. He was recognized as an ‘Indiana Sycamore’ and a ‘Kentucky Colonel.’ Bob would always say that every recognition he received was equally earned by his wife. While each held a special meaning for the couple, none probably more than receiving the ‘Key to the City’ of Jasper meant that they had left a positive impact on their hometown.
The Ruckriegel Family extends its gratitude to the staff of the Memorial Hospital in Jasper for the care and comfort you offered Bob and the entire family. Special thanks to Carol Meyer and Kristi Mehringer for their friendship during this time.
Visitation will be at the Becher-Kluesner Northside Funeral Home in Jasper on June 15th from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Funeral Services will be held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Haysville, Indiana on June 16th starting at 10:00 a.m. with visitation starting at 9. Entombment will be in Fairview Cemetery Mausoleum immediately following the funeral service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Dubois County Humane Society, Northwood Retirement Community, or St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
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