Ben Ruehr died on Sept. 15, 2018, in Billings, Montana, aged 84, from complications of dementia. He was born on Dec. 13, 1933, to Benno and Ethel Ruehr, in Freeport, Illinois. Adventures first took him to Wyoming as a young man, and he found his home and final resting place in the Rocky Mountains.
He is survived by his wife, Ann Ruehr of Billings; daughter Sally Ann (David) Chisholm of Missoula; son David (Brittany) Ruehr of Bellevue, Washington; and six grandchildren.
Geology allowed him to be out in the mountains, rivers and plains of the Rocky Mountains. Following graduation from the University of Wyoming (M.S. 1961), Ben’s career took him to Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Montana. But his heart was always in Jackson, Wyoming, a place he and Ann first visited in 1957, and made their home following retirement in 1992. Many family visits and vacations filled the years between their first visit to Jackson and finally moving home with a daily view of the Tetons.
His geology career included an initial 20 years with Texaco and a final 12 years leading Burlington Resources and subsidiaries oil and gas exploration, retiring in 1992 as Executive Vice President for Exploration.
Never one to pass on an outdoor challenge, Ben began avid mountain climbing in retirement. He climbed most of the Teton Peaks, Mount Rainier, Mount Kilimanjaro and Orizabo in Mexico, all following his retirement, before finishing his climbing adventures with a trek in Nepal. He “slowed down” by continuing to climb and hike among the Tetons; float and fish the Snake, Yellowstone and Madison, among other rivers; hunt in every season; and travel with Ann, always exploring the natural world.
Ben instilled in Sally Ann and David his love of the mountains and rivers, teaching them to fish, hike, hunt and ski, often in the shadow of the Tetons in Jackson. Their memories of Ben will always be of his peace and happiness in the outdoors. A gift that has carried them to their own love of the mountains and rivers, where they will always be with their father, no matter the time and distance that now separates us.
Ben’s ashes will be returned to Jackson, Wyoming, and to his birthplace in Freeport, Illinois.
The family thanks MorningStar Reflections and Stillwater Hospice caregivers for helping us usher our husband, father and friend from this world.
To honor Ben’s request, services will not be held.
Memorials in Ben’s name can be made to Grand Teton National Park Foundation, PO Box 249, Moose, WY 83012 (www.gtnpf.org) or the Alzheimer’s Association.