Bruce Elmer Ruehl, age 74, passed away on Tuesday, June 4, 2019, surrounded by family at his home in Rancho Bernardo in San Diego, California, after a courageous battle with lung cancer. He was born on August 3, 1944, in Belleville, Illinois, to Elmer and Mildred (Sauthoff) Ruehl. He was a 1962 graduate of Belleville Township High School and went on to study at Belleville Community College, Southern Illinois University, and Washington University, St. Louis. He worked for the St. Louis Post Dispatch and at his family’s picture framing business in Belleville before moving to Southern California in search of warmer weather in 1984. In 1992 he married Barbara Vettor, and they called San Diego home since 1999. From 1992 through his retirement in 2009 he was the Regional Sales Manager for woodworking industrial and computerized numerical control machinery in the western United States, representing various manufacturers. He was known for making everyone laugh with his one-liners and mischievous sense of humor. He loved to explore the beauty of the Southwest on his motorcycle, riding locally and cross country, where he gained inspiration for his artwork. A lifelong artist with immense creativity, his passions included painting and wood turning. He belonged to numerous local artist guilds including California Plein Air Painters, Fallbrook Art Center – Artist Guild, Oceanside Museum of Art – Artist Alliance, and the San Dieguito Artist Guild. In his self-written artist’s statement, he describes his inspiration: “Strongly attracted by the brilliant influences of nature, I am compelled to paint the space between realism and abstraction, expressing visions firmly etched in my life’s memories and experiences. My desire as an artist is to capture the way memory blurs and distills detail, and express the remaining essence and simplicity of the subject. The result invites the viewer to absorb, respond, and be transported not solely by my work, but also in concert with the recall of their own experiences and memory”. He is greatly missed and survived by his family: His wife, Barbara Vettor Ruehl; daughter, Jennifer Ruehl (Renee), step-daughter, Daniela Amado (Miguel); son, Jason Ruehl, step-son, Alexis Alvarez (Rebecca); grandchildren, Henry Ruehl-Ruffing, Brandon and Christian Ruehl, and Artemisia Alvarez; a sister, Claudia Hauch (James); his best friend Dennis Capotosto (Cappy), and loyal 4-legged companion, Oliver. He was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Mildred Ruehl. To honor him, selected pieces of his beautiful art will be showcased for a month, beginning August 8th, at the Fallbrook Art Center, 103 S. Main Ave., Fallbrook, CA 92028, in the Salon and Lehmann Galleries. A private service will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributions to the Lung Cancer Research Foundation or Lung Force.
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