American Veteran 04

John L. Ruckman

January 25, 1921 ~ February 26, 2019 (age 98)

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Click here to view John's Memorial Service.


“To Protect and To Serve” – the motto that John L. Ruckman lived by.


John L. Ruckman, 98, of Aberdeen, passed away Tuesday, February 26, 2019, at the Ipswich Care and Rehabilitation Center in Ipswich, SD.  His wishes were to be cremated.

Memorial services will be 2:00 p.m., Saturday, March 23, 2019, at Schriver’s Memorial Mortuary & Crematory, 414 5thAvenue NW, Aberdeen, with Pastor Rhia Strohm, of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, officiating.  Military Rites will be conducted by Stratford American Legion Post #207.

Refreshments and a time of fellowship will immediately follow at Schriver’s Memorial Fellowship Center. 

Burial will take place at a later date at Riverside Cemetery in Aberdeen.

Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the mortuary.  Family and friends may sign John’s online guestbook and also view his service via the live stream service link at

John L. Ruckman was born January 25, 1921, in Aberdeen, SD to John Ruckman and Dorothy (Hanson) Dixon.  At the age of 13, John’s mother passed away and one year later his father passed. With the help of his siblings, John continued his childhood and graduated from Aberdeen Central High School in 1938.

At the age of 17, John enlisted in the United States Navy.  Through his 22 years of service, John served in The China Conflict, WWII, and The Korean War.  His last two years of service were spent as a Navy Recruiter in his home town of Aberdeen.

While in the service, John married Cecile Rittal in 1946.  Together they had four children:  John Jr. (Linda) Ruckman, Susan Mollenhoff, Lisa (David) Hinz and James Ruckman; three grandchildren:  Crystal Hinz, Jennifer Mollenhoff, and Jessica Mollenhoff; and five great-grandchildren. 

 In 1971, John was united in marriage to Sheryl Jahnig of Kidder, SD and together they had one son, Charlie Ruckman.  

In 1972, at the age of 51, John attended Northern State College in Aberdeen and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1977.  In 1980, he began an 18-year dedication to his career as the Civil Defense and Brown County Emergency Disaster Director, retiring in 1998.  

John was an enthusiastic hunter and fisherman.  He also enjoyed playing all types of sports including golf, bowling, and softball.  Throughout his lifetime, John officiated basketball and football and umpired baseball, fast pitch, and slow pitch games.  He also enjoyed coaching a “40 And Over” 16” Softball Team.  John was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #17 of Aberdeen and a member of American Legion Post #207 of Stratford, SD. He was also an All-American District Commander and Outstanding Post Commander for the V.F.W.  John took time weekly sharing and conversing with friends at 5:00 p.m.

John is survived by his wife; two sons; one daughter; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

John was preceded in death by his parents; one son; first wife; one daughter; three brothers; and three sisters.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John L. Ruckman, please visit our floral store.


March 23, 2019

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Schriver's Memorial Mortuary
414 5th Avenue NW
Aberdeen, SD 57401

Memorial Service
March 23, 2019

2:00 PM
Schriver's Memorial Mortuary
414 5th Avenue NW
Aberdeen, SD 57401

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