William Batterman Ruger Jr., 79, of Newport, NH and Bar Harbor, ME, passed away peacefully at his home in Newport on September 15, 2018, after a brief illness.
He was born on June 4, 1939 in Greensboro, NC, son of William B. Ruger and Mary Thompson Ruger. He was a graduate of St. Paul’s School in 1957 and Harvard University in 1961. He was employed early on at the Kel Corporation as an engineer, and then, with the family company of Sturm Ruger, where he eventually became Chief Executive Officer.
During his time of leadership of the company, one of his accomplishments was retaining manufacture all of the company products in the United States. This was especially important to his home town of Newport, NH He notably developed new initiatives, including plans for an automobile, which the well-known firearms company was desirous of building.
His detailed knowledge of mechanics, style, and manufacture were well known in the automobile collecting arena. His attention to detail and deep commitment to collecting garnered him many achievements, including awards at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance.
Bill made lifelong friends with many people throughout the country. His eternal optimism and joy for life brought great happiness to those around him. He relished the opportunity to entertain friends at dinner, in hunting camp, and in many instances with his own culinary skills. His conversation at the table and the wonderfully humorous stories he would tell were legendary.
His mind was encyclopedic, which allowed him to recite minute details about many intriguing aspects of music, nature, art, and engineering. This made him immensely interesting and fascinating to friends and family.
He served on many boards, notably the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, St. Paul’s School, Salisbury School and with his friends at the Blue Mountain Forest Association.
William was predeceased by a brother James Thompson Ruger. He is survived by his sister Carolyn Amalie (Ruger) Vogel of Harrisville, N.H. and six nieces and nephews, Kurt Vogel, Charles Ruger, Victoria (Vogel) Roberts, Adrienne (Ruger) Conzelman, Alexander Vogel, and Amy (Ruger) Whitely, and twelve grand nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the nurses and caregivers at Mt. Ascutney Hospital, Summercrest Senior Living Community, and at home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Summercrest Senior Living Community or to a favorite transportation museum.
A funeral service was held at Blue Mountain Forest Association in Croydon, NH, on Saturday, September 22.
The Newton-Bartlett Funeral Home in Newport is in charge of arrangements.
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