Donald William "Don" Ruse

October 11, 1934 ~ February 28, 2019 (age 84)

Donald (Don) William Ruse, 84, of Williamsport, MD passed from this earth on Thursday February 28, 2019 at Doey’s House, surrounded by those who loved him greatly. He left their presence and immediately entered into the presence of Jesus, the one his heart longed to see.

After a valiant 6 year battle with cancer, he entered through the gates of heaven to see his savior face to face. His strong will to live, unwavering faith in God, the belief that he would be healed either on this side of heaven or the other, the undying love and care that his beautiful wife gave to him, the love and prayers of family, friends and many supporters all carried him through some very difficult times. Yet even throughout his own struggle with cancer, he reached out to others affected by the disease in many ways. He created beautiful masterpieces with his hands throughout his life and it was no different during this time. He made roses with the saying, “When life gives you thorns, make roses” and handed them out generously to others to be an encouragement to them even in the midst of needing encouragement himself. His favorite passage from his favorite book, the Holy Bible was Psalm 30:2-5. He printed the scripture out and always kept copies in his shirt pocket, again, handing them out to anyone he came into contact with and leaving them lay in places for someone to find and be encouraged. Only heaven knows just how many lives he touched.

Don was a faithful member of Virginia Avenue Church of God for over 20 years.

His greatest gift was that he left an incredible legacy of faith to his family.

He was born on October 11, 1934 in Waynesboro, PA to Donald and Lucretia Bingaman Ruse. He was the oldest of 5 siblings. At the age of 18, he enlisted in the United States Army and he served his country from 1954-1957 as a track vehicle mechanic where he worked on tanks and Army trucks. After completing his service in the Army, he entered Eastern Bible Institute in Green Lane, Pennsylvania where he spent over 2 years studying. It was during this time that his love of God’s word truly blossomed and his relationship with Christ and his dedication to serve the Lord was solidified. After leaving the Bible Institute, he spent the remainder of his life, working hard to provide for his family. He retired from Maccaferri Gabions where he spent 25+ years as a forklift operator.  

Don spent countless hours in his wood shop creating works of art. He had an incredible talent for bringing his visions to life. His hands were incredibly skilled and marked with years of hard work. He has provided hours of entertainment to children and families with his wooden toys and brain puzzles, he made many houses a home with his wooden décor projects, wooden churches and lamps, he has added beauty to gardens with his wooden windmills, wishing wells, lighthouses and bird houses and as his health deteriorated in his last years and he was no longer able to physically be in his beloved workshop, he developed an amazing talent for painting. He even won awards for some of his creations. After retiring, he was not one to sit around and be idle, so he worked another 13 years as a commercial delivery driver of pharmaceuticals and newspapers. He finally decided that maybe it was time to relax.

He is survived by his “wonderful, beautiful, amazing wife” (his words in his final Valentine’s Day card to her) of 45 years, Gloria. They were married on December 22, 1973. He is also survived by his children Ronald Ruse of Billings, Montana; Roger Ruse and wife, Marylou of Greencastle, PA; Judith Linton of Savannah, Tennessee; Melissa Sayler and husband James of Hagerstown, MD; Twyla Wiles and husband Evan of Williamsport, MD; Marie Gatrell of Hagerstown, MD; Andrew Ruse and wife, Rebekah of Silver Spring, MD; Andrea McCall and husband, Thomas of Hagerstown, MD; 22 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great granddaughter;  3 sisters, Louella Rowland, Patricia Brookman and Beverly Henson.

He was preceeded in death by his mother, Lucretia Mae Ruse; his father, Donald George Ruse; his step-mother, Anna Mary Ruse, his sister, Nancy Cook; and his first wife, Bernita Davis-Ruse.

A special thank you to Victoria Jiffi, Don’s oncologist who gave the greatest care imaginable. Her compassion and concern for each of her patients is a testament to her gigantic heart.

Don spent his last days at Doey’s House in Hagerstown, MD where he received compassionate care from his amazing nurses and staff. They were a great blessing to the family during this most difficult time.

The family will receive friends on Monday March 4, 2019 from 6:00-8:00pm at the Osborne Funeral Home 425 S. Conococheague St. Williamsport, MD 21795.  For the convenience of family and friends, the funeral home will open Monday at noon.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday March 5, 2019 at 11:00am at Virginia Avenue Church of God with Pastors A. Paul Harne and Shawn Bushman officiating.

Interment will follow in Greenlawn Memorial Park, Williamsport, MD.

In his honor, memorial donations can be made to Virginia Avenue Church of God 17306 Virginia Ave. Hagerstown, MD 21740 and Doey’s House 747 Northern Ave. Hagerstown, MD 21742.


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