There are going to be some changes made up there and I don’t mean just in the name of a song. St. Peter is going to have to make a lot of room for Bill and change the tempo of operations. There will be the piano, the bass viol, the ukelele, the barbershop quartet, lacrosse sticks and all manner of athletic equipment. There will have to be meeting rooms for sing-a-longs and for serious discussions and for parties for his friends, the church group, the choir, the book club and for “Good Ole ’39”.
We are going to miss all this. However, there is the compensating thought that we all can join in the festivities up there some sunny day, as everything will be up and running … thanks to Bill.
On a more serious note, the class of ’39 has lost a truly class act in Bill’s passing. I will list a few of his outstanding contributions to the class and accomplishments during his Naval Academy tenure and during his naval career.
In the formative years of any class, a common phenomenon involving leadership often occurs. Certain individuals become accepted as leaders in their group for no apparent reason or special training. These individuals seem to be accepted as leaders purely as a result of their personal impact on that organization and its members. This phenomenon usually follows the individual through his entire career. Such an individual was Bill Ruhe. His qualities are scarce and are of great value to the initial group and were carried over to all the follow-on organizations where he plied his trade.
As I said before, such an individual was Bill Rube … ’39 classmate, fellow submariner and good shipmate. It seemed that in every command Bill joined, that command came alive and became a desirable place to work. I believe this attribute is called leadership. Bill, however, never revealed to me how he came to develop this capability-I wish he had.
He made his mark at the Naval Academy academically, athletically and in the arts. He was a star man, graduating in the top 5% of 600 graduates. He was a major force on the lacrosse teams which won the national championship one year. He was the author of plays put on by the academy theater group, the Masqueraders, and wrote great songs such as “Flossie was an Aussie” commemo-rating R and R in Perth, Australia between submarine patrols. He also wrote and had published numerous books and was the first editor of The SUBMARINE REVIEW.
Bill was a Submarine warrior, receiving 3 silver stars and other combat awards for successful operation against the Japanese during which his submarine, USS CREV ALLE, sank ten ships. During these patrols CREV ALLE weathered many life threatening attacks.
Following submarine duty, Bill became the Commanding Officer of several surface ship commands, including a cruiser, which indicates the high regard in which he was held by the Navy.
Post-war life centered around his six lively children and his ever-devoted and supportive wife, Carol, who somehow kept up with this whirling dervish and who deserves a gold medal for service beyond the call of duty.
His post-Navy career was marked by a successful tour as manager of marketing for General Dynamics and as editor of The SUBMARINE REVIEW, the magazine of the Submarine League.
In closing, Bill was a constant co11tributor to every organization, to his family and to his friends. In short, he gave more to all than he took.
Bill was a good shipmate, which, in the submarine business is the highest compliment one can pay to an individual. He will be greatly missed. We wish him fair winds and following sea.