Date of Death:  October 15, 2022

Service Details

A private family memorial service will be held in Three Rivers.

The family will host A Celebration of Life in Elmhurst, Illinois on November 5, 2022 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the home of Theodore and Julie Ruth (casual attire). The address for this gathering is:

205 N. Oak Street
Elmhurst, Illinois 60126

A separate Celebration is being planned for Marco Island, Florida after the first of the year.

Obituary Notice

Richard (“Dick”) Joseph Ruth, 65, of Three Rivers, MI passed away Saturday, October 15, 2022 in Three Rivers, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born July 17, 1957 in Buffalo, N.Y., the son of William John and Catherine Mary (Pinkel) Ruth. Dick grew up in Tonawanda, New York and graduated from Cardinal O’Hara High School. Dick next attended and graduated from Fredonia State University, where he was a member of the basketball team. Upon graduation in 1980, he began his professional career with Ralston Purina in Dunkirk, New York.

In Dunkirk, he met the love of his life, Barbara, to whom he was married for 39 years and where they started their life adventures. Together they raised 3 active boys who kept them occupied by spending time in hockey rinks, lacrosse and rugby fields, as well as camping and boating across the country. Once the boys grew older, they married, and gave “Grammy” and “Pops” 3 grandchildren (with 3 more on the way). Together, the original “5” turned into “11” and they continued to fully enjoy life and the time they spent together.

In 1987, Dick accepted a position with the Frito Lay Division of PepsiCo and began a 31-year career that took him and his family to over 12 locations across the country. In August of 2018, Dick retired as Vice President, Human Resources and Chief Human Resource Officer for the Quaker/Tropicana/Gatorade business unit within Pepsi. His reputation across PepsiCo was built on his high level of integrity, passion, humor and empathy. Dick had a keen sense when it came to guiding and mentoring executives on business matters and personal development.

Dick was a very caring man who enjoyed being around his family and friends. He particularly enjoyed watching his grandchildren, tinkering/putzing with projects, playing cards, water activities in Marco Island, Florida, watching the Buffalo Bills, relaxing in his man cave, and hoarding bourbon. While Dick was known as a handyman who could fix things, he struggled with ordinary life tasks like turning on a microwave oven, cooking anything, or wearing casual clothes that were no less than 20 years out of date.

Remaining to cherish his memory are his wife, Barbara (McCall) Ruth; children, Peter and Robin (Williams) Ruth of Round Lake Beach, IL – with twins on the way; Theodore and Julie (Scheidler) Ruth of Elmhurst, IL – with two children (Mackenzie & Little Teddy) and one child on the way, and Corey and Sarah (Gruss) Ruth of Northbrook, IL – with one child (Jameson); brother Eugene (Martha) Ruth of Austin, TX; sister Margaret V. (Richard) Pepe of Bonita Springs, FL; several nieces and nephews, and very dear, lifelong friends Robert and Suzanne Dunn.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Catherine Ruth, and brother, William J. (Billy) Ruth, Jr.

Additional Information
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  1. Rest in the Peace of the risen Lord Dick. Our paths crossed early in our Frito-Lay careers and you certainly made a lasting impact and affected so many people. Hoping your family and friends can bask in the wonderful memories that you have left here on earth. God Bless!

  2. So sorry for your loss. Dick worked with our team and gave his very best. He always went the extra mile and helped us all with whatever challenges arose. He did this with empathy, compassion, and humor. I’ll always cherish the time spent with him. One could not ask for a better HR professional, colleague and friend. God grant you peace and may his memory be eternal.

  3. Sorry to hear of Dick’s homegoing. I worked with Him at the FritoLay -Plano location.

    Dick was a supporter of building personal confidence, dynamic teams and providing the necessary resources for all to win.

  4. I worked with Dick for many years in Chicago and always called him the ‘uncommon HR man’, as one time as I passed him in the hall and he saw I was pregnant for the 4th time, he asked, ‘you do know what causes that right?’ His sense of humor, laughter and smile made an impact on me and so many- everyday. Thank you for sharing him with us for so many years at PepsiCo.

  5. My deepest condolences to the Ruth family. I worked on the same floor as Dick in Chicago and the first thing that comes to mind is his quick wit and contagious laughter. I am so sorry for your loss.

  6. Dick made a lasting impression on me as a leader and mentor. I always appreciated his sense of humor, candor and words of wisdom and encouragement when I worked for him. He was one of a kind and I will miss our annual texts on his birthday. My sincere sympathies to Dick’s family. He was a great person and I’m honored to have known him.

    • My condolences and prayers to the family. Dick was such an amazing person, always smiling and willing to step in to help. He shared so many teachable moments and he always took the time to get to know people. Super blessed to have known him.

  7. Barbara and Family, so sorry for your loss for you and your family. Can’t believe this so soon. You have such a beautiful family that will be able to hold onto each other through all of this. The memories you all will hold onto of your husband, father, and grand father. As I go into this new week you all are in my prayers for comfort and healing.

  8. Barb and Family,
    My deepest condolences are extended to you. I am so privileged to have worked with Dick for many years. He was a coach and mentor and led with his head and heart. I will never forget his retirement party, we celebrated his career and the truly special leader and human that he was along with his deep legacy in Human Resources at PepsiCo.
    Sending prayers and love.

    • Dick Ruth Family and Friends;

      With great sadness I learned of Dick’s passing. Know how much he was appreciated, loved and respected by all that knew him. His laugh and humor were contagious And his professionalism respected. May special memories soon replace the sorrow of loss and celebrate a life well lived.

  9. It has been many years since our boys played hockey together but Dick was always such a sweet man. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the whole family as this is the time of life we all look forward to. He will be watching over those grandbabies every day. 🙏 our condolences for everyone

    • Barb and family,
      My sincere condolences to you for your loss. I worked with Dick at Frito in the early 90s in Pittsburgh. He was a huge help to me as I navigated my first sales role leading an organized union workforce. There was never a time in my career, before or since where I needed that combination of wisdom and humor that Dick provided as much as I did then. He helped me develop confidence in an unknown environment and had my back with every decision I made.
      He was a wonderful HR partner and will be missed greatly by his Frito family.
      My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
      Janet Mabrey

  10. Dear Barb & Ruth clan:
    “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” – Pericles
    So many joy-filled memories with such an extraordinary person – Dick Ruth. We are basking in the countless times we have been blessed to spend with him and all of you.
    We’re holding space deep in our hearts for you. Please know that we are here for you to comfort and support whenever you need us.
    With much light, peace, hugs, and love,
    The Bardwell’s –
    Hillary, Stuart, Shannon, David, James.

  11. I am so very saddened to hear this news. My condolences to the entire Ruth family. I had the wonderful pleasure of working with Dick early in my career at Frito-Lay and later as part of the integration team at QTG. Being a Human Resources leader takes a special gift of compassion, honesty, integrity, and humor. He was the best at what he did and he had a tremendous impact on the organization, but more importantly on its people. Please celebrate him well. A life truly well lived.

  12. Karen and I send our sincere condolences to Barb and the Ruth family. We have enjoyed many memorable occasions with Dick in the short time that we knew him. Dick Ruth is someone that you will never forget once you have met him. One thing that we always looked forward to when we went to Marco Island was spending time with the both Dick and Barb. Dick always left a lasting impression on those whose life he touched. He will be missed enormously by those who had the pleasure to know him. God bless you Dick Ruth, we will miss you.

  13. Sending prayers of peace and comfort to Barb and the boys. Dick was such a presence at PEP and I have so many fond memories of our times working together. He brought practical leadership to complicated situations, and always had a big smile of his face. His laugh was legendary and he made sure those around him knew work should be fun. When I bought a boat, he was the best coach and teacher!!! The entire PepsiCo family is so heartbroken. Heaven gained an angel.

  14. My condolences to his family. I went on a waterfall hike with Dick and Barbara in Hawaii several years ago- and it was one of the highlights of that trip!
    Thank you for sharing Dick with all of us that worked for PepsiCo. He was a true joy.

  15. To: Barb & The Boys,

    My deepest condolences to the entire Ruth family at this time.

    I had the pleasure of supporting Dick his last two years at PepsiCo. There are a lot of wonderful memories that he gave to not only me, but the entire HR team at that time. Barb, Peter, Teddy, Corey, please know that during the last two years that I supported your husband and dad, most of our conversations outside of work centered on how he couldn’t wait to retire to spend more time with you all individually and collectively. He affectionately referred to Barb as being “the boss” and that if it was all right with her it was all right with him. The last time I spoke with him he said that retirement was the best thing he has done and I know it’s because of the memories and time he got to spend with you all. He truly loved you all!

    I am grateful for the opportunities he gave me, grateful for the memories shared, appreciative of the time you all loaned him to us. My thoughts and prayers are with you all, Dick will truly be missed.

    Victoria T.

  16. My deepest sympathy for the passing of Dick. I had the privilege to work with Dick at my time at PepsiCo and he was an amazing leader and role model. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the whole family. Dick will certainly be missed.

  17. My condolences to Barbara and the Ruth family.

    I had the pleasure of working on the PepsiCo business while Dick was leading HR out of the Chicago office. Dick was always willing to make time, give council and hold space for honest conversations. I was a junior member of the team at the time and was moved by his consistent, authentic efforts to make time for everyone – regardless of senority. He walked the office with a smile, regardless how challenging the day, and that is how I will remember him.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to your entire family. Rest in peace, Dick.

  18. My deepest condolences to you and your family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult moment. Dick was one of a kind indeed… a great professional and amazing and humble human being.

  19. Sending love and comfort to the family during this time, until you all meet again. Just wanted to share how much Dick was admired and loved as a person and HR leader at PepsiCo. He was such a genuine and caring man and left a lasting impact on me and many more I am certain. He was always quick with a joke and a smile and always available as a sounding board. Dick was one of my favorite people and I still have some of his sound bites pop into my head to this day. May he rest in peace and love.

  20. My deepest condolences to Barb and family. I had the absolute privilege to work for Dick and I look back on those days as my most favorite at PepsiCo. He was a leader who led with his whole heart, was invested in his team and always kept us laughing. I looked forward to my meetings with him or when he meandered down to our floor as I knew it would result in having a great laugh. Over the past few days, the “Dick Ruth HR alum” have tearfully shared our favorite stories and lessons, to which we have so many. I’m forever thankful to him for believing in me several years ago and in his retirement being a great sounding board. He is one of a kind and will be greatly missed by many.

  21. Please accept our condolences. Barb, I hear your voice in the description of Dick with the casual clothes and all. Dick was asked to go back to his hotel room one time to exchange his shorts for pants, if memory serves. We are so sorry for your loss. With love and light, Denise and Scott.

  22. Working for Dick Ruth was a highlight of my career at PepsiCo. His supportive and lighthearted approach made a positive impact on many. The pride Dick had for his family was always present. He helped me to balance family and career when I had my 4 boys while working for him. I will always be grateful! My heart goes out to Barb and the entire family! He will be missed very much.

  23. We are surprised and deeply saddened to hear about Dick’s passing. Dick and Barb embraced our family having met in Marco Island while renting in their condo building. We knew immediately the quality of their faith and values, and shared many likes and interests. Our sincerest sympathies to Barb and all the Ruth family. Rest In Peace Dick Ruth.

  24. My condolences to the Ruth family and his friends. None of you know who I am, and that’s the most important part of my comments. I met Dick on a few occasions in my QTG career and not sure I ever met a more genuine, caring individual. He should be the blueprint for all HR professionals everywhere.
    Dick was a gentleman, a throwback, with a sprig of humor and a pinch of mischievous behavior behind those eyes.
    My favorite memory of him was at an awards ceremony we both attended. I was low man on the totem pole in both seniority and rank, yet you’d never know that with the way Dick treated my wife and me. He enthralled us with his stories and tales of meetings gone by and I’m quite sure I’ve never enjoyed a day in my career more than that one.
    My heart goes out to his extended family and friends. If he treated a complete stranger like he did me, I can just imagine how much he meant to all of you. May Mr. Ruth Rest In Peace and Godspeed to his soul.

  25. My kids and I traveled the country in our fifth wheel a few years back. It was my maiden voyage, I had my mom, 2 large dogs, my 7-year-old, and my four-year-old on the journey. I had decided that I needed to practice parking and thought it would be quick and simple. As most people in the RV world can attest, that is never true. I end up taking the turn too tight and hit a stop sign, ripping the awning off, putting a huge scratch in our brand-new fifth wheel, and demolishing the sign (which went flying towards the neighbor’s RV). Once I am parked in my spot, Dick (the new neighbor) quickly offers help, a drink, some advice, and many jokes. I have really fond memories of those few days with him and Barb as our neighbors and many laughs were shared. I am truly sorry for your loss and pray for your comfort and healing.

  26. Always enjoyed our time with Dick and getting to know the Ruth family. Celebrating a wonderful man and thinking of Barb, the boys, DILs and grandkiddos during this time. Calvin and Jessica Gunter

  27. Dick was a neighbor and a friend in every sense of those words. He loved our group activities and always was ready to volunteer. His humor, warmness and smile will forever be missed. We are family here and we lost a family member. Rest In Peace Dick.

  28. Sending love and light to Barb, the boys and their beautiful families during this difficult and sad time. Dick will be greatly missed…..his smile and laugh contagious.
    Wishing you all peace and faith that we will meet him again……for a bourbon or two.

  29. Beautifully remembered. A celebration of a man who always had a smile on his face and friendly words from his heart.
    Loving thoughts and prayers to the entire family.
    Steve and Jacquie Risch

  30. We will miss Dick with his corny jokes and his wonderful sense of humor. He always had a smile on his face and cared about those around him. I know he adored his wife and family. Pops will be missed, taken way too soon. Now an angel in heaven looking down, still around ♥️🙏🏻♥️

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