Date of Death: November 4, 2020

Service Details

Due to unforeseen circumstances surrounding the COVID virus, services tomorrow Monday, at 11:00 a.m. November 9, 2020 have been cancelled at Three Rivers Church of the Nazarene.

A graveside service at 11:00 a.m. will be held on Monday, November 9, 2020 will be held at Riverside Cemetery, Three Rivers with masks and social distancing measures followed.

Obituary Notice

Elwin Donald Ruggles, 89, of Three Rivers, Michigan passed away on November 4, 2020 at his home surrounded by his loving family.

Elwin was born on September 1, 1931 in Three Rivers, Michigan, the son of Donald and Mary Irene (Martin) Ruggles.

Elwin was a proud graduate of Three Rivers High School, Class of 1949. He attended trade academy school in Waukegan, Illinois for Pest Control in 1959. He completed his Real Estate training and Brokers License in 1971.

Military service to his country began in 1952. He was inducted into the Army on April 16, in Fort Bliss, Texas, and received his honorable discharge having achieved the rank of Sergeant on April 15, 1954.

Elwin married his beloved Beverly Joyce Spade on August 24, 1952 in the 9th Street Methodist Church, Three Rivers, by The Reverend Harold Jacobs. They were high school sweethearts and they were happily married for 68 years. He was a devoted, adoring husband and he cherished every day they had together.

In 1968, Elwin founded a business enterprise with several local partners consisting of Chippewa Homes, Arrowhead Real Estate, and Ruggles Termite Service. In 1971-1972, that enterprise was responsible for developing Tamarac Subdivision, an accomplishment he was very proud of. In subsequent years Arrowhead Real Estate purchased a franchise license and became part of the national Century 21, Inc. He was named Realtor Emeritus of the National Realtor Association and was a member of The St. Joseph County Association of Realtors for 52 years.

Elwin loved Sports! He enjoyed playing golf, tennis, softball, shooting hoops in the driveway, hunting with his beagles, and fishing with friends and family on his pontoon boat at Pleasant Lake. Woodworking, home repair projects and gardening were among his favorite activities, but by far, he adored spoiling his grandchildren and great-grandchildren with abandon.

Elwin was a charter member of the Three Rivers Church of the Nazarene and remained a faithful member there until his passing. He received The Distinguished Service Award of the International Church of the Nazarene an unprecedented two times.

Elwin was a local Rotary Club member for many years and recognized by Rotary International as a Paul Harris Fellow for distinguished service.

Elwin will be remembered for his kindness, service to church and community, but above all his trademark smile and laugh that filled rooms and hearts!

Elwin leaves his wife Beverly, children Kathleen (Steve) Whitney of Colorado, Beth (George) Drew of Three Rivers and Daniel (Karen) Ruggles of Three Rivers. Grandchildren; Matthew Whitney, Melissa James, Megan Tomczak, Jynell Tackett, Deborah Drew, Jillian Shreve, Nicholas Ruggles, and Robert Drew. He leaves also, 13 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Extended family who were and are loved dearly; Diane (Krull) Boynton, Chantelle Casey, Mariana Aquino, and most recently Debi Haynes.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Duane and Kenneth, and Beloved daughter-in-law Melody (Shoemaker) Ruggles.

Additional Information

Memorial donations in Elwin’s name may be directed to Three Rivers Church of the Nazarene Building Fund, Project Share or the charity of your choice.  Envelopes are available at the funeral home.

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  1. So sorry to hear of Elwin’s passing. Many memories for our family. My dad, Myrl Ruggles, shared so many fishing memories and, my mom, Dorothy, enjoyed the company of his wife, Bev and family. My children, had the pleasure of being part of Elwin’s fishing family on pontoon adventures at the lake. All of my siblings will miss the good heart and company of this man.

  2. It is so hard not to be able to share our love and compassion to the Ruggles family. We do thank the Lord for the life of a great Christian Elwin Ruggles and a great friend. We want ALL of you to know that we love you and you have our Prayers!

  3. Dearest Miss Beverly, Kathy, Beth,Dan & Jillie,
    So very sorry for your loss.
    I remember Mr Elwin as “The Bug Man!”
    We had him exterminate termite when
    I was very young. It stuck thru my adult
    years. He was always very kind to me.
    He made sure I went to camp every year at Nazarene Indian Lake Church Camp. His family was very welcoming to me. I will always have a special place in my heart for the Bug Man Family!”
    David & Denise Middaugh Millet

  4. Sorry to learn of Elwin’s passing. Elwin was always a positive and fun man to be with. He helped make Three Rivers a good place to live and raise a family through his efforts in building Tamarac and many other ventures. He will be missed. Because of Covid 19 I will not be attending the visitation or funeral, but the family is in my thoughts and prayers.
    Taylor Snow

  5. I remember the day I met Elwin. A story too long to tell, but suffice to say that he was very good to me. He was a very trusting person with old fashioned Good values.
    Thank you Elwin
    Tom Molter

  6. We are sorry to hear of Elwin’s passing. He was a really good man. Our thoughts and prayers go out to your family. Randy and Erin Arnett

  7. Sorry to hear of Elwin’s passing. We knew him for many years and he worked with my late husband in the real estate world. He will be sadly missed. Condolences to the family.

  8. I am so sorry to hear of Elwin’s passing. My hubby and I used him and Peggy Ruggles at C21 for many sales and purchases with them the years before we left Michigan. I met cousins I had never met before until dealing with real estate. Prayers and hugs for the family are being sent to Elwin’s family from ours. God bless you all.
    Laura (Ruggles) and John Sekon
    Bonners Ferry, ID

  9. Elwin will be missed in Three Rivers. He was a great guy, with a perpetual smile. He always had a good word for everyone. Condolences for his family. He was a fixture in Three Rivers and was a model citizen for all to see. R.I.P. Elwin.

  10. Mark and I have enjoyed Pop Ruggles for many years. His laugh and humor added so much to our lives. He was always interested in what was happening in our lives and good advice to make it better.. Playing softball together at church events was always entertaining. Mark and I are so sorry for your loss but we are so thankful to have known ‘Pop Ruggles’. Heaven will be an even brighter place with him there!

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