William Wells Ruddick, 86, of Bainbridge Island, WA, recently passed from heart failure with his family by his side. He was born in New York City in 1937 to Eustis and Mary Ruddick.
Bill attended grade school in Chicago, graduated from Stadium High School in Tacoma 1956 and then attended the University of Puget Sound with majors in Business Administration and Economics. He worked part time for Weyerhaeuser while going to school and after graduation he started a PhD program in Economics from the University of Washington until his dad invited him into his business in Tacoma. After that they moved to Portland, started a new business and ran it until his father died at a young age leaving Bill to downsize one business and sell the other. It was a difficult time but Bill secured a job with Lamb Grays Harbor and 3 years later Jack Benaroya asked him to work for him. A short while later, Jack sold his business and recommended Bill for a position with Simpson Timber Company. He spent most of his Simpson career moving to different locations to “sell them or show how they could be profitable.”
Bill moved to Simpson’s Head Office in Seattle and made his home on Bainbridge Island where he lived for 43 years, commuting by ferry. He retired and started business consulting. He always had a big smile for everyone so when he took his many walks around Battle Point Park, he would greet all the dogs and their owners, which earned him the nickname of Park Greeter. To keep busy he played tennis, golf, racquetball, chess, and enjoyed hiking and skiing . To keep his mind stimulated he also enjoyed solving problems, playing word games, crossword puzzles, and watching Jeopardy. He was an avid reader and lifelong student of human behavior, philosophy, business analytics and the complexities of the human brain.
Bill is survived by his wife, Jan of 47 years and 4 sons: Bill (Karie) and 6 children, Dave (Hannah) and 2 children, Bob and Chris (Brenda) and 2 children. He is survived by his sister, Mary Silzel and his brother, John. The “Ruddick Boys” will always be grateful for the quick wit, charm and humor their dad bestowed on them. In addition to the 10 grandchildren, there are 4 great grandchildren. He loved spending time with his family and they will miss him deeply. May his wonderful smile be a memory for all of us.
A Celebration of Bill’s Life will be at Bainbridge Island Rowing, 281 Brien Drive SE, Bainbridge Island, WA, on October 1, from 12:30 – 3:00. Charitable donations can be made in his name, to Helpline House, 282 Knechtel Way N, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110.