Richard Ruth lives in Milpitas, California with his wife Patricia, whom he has been married to for nearly 63 years. He has 5 children, 10 grandchildren, and 5 great grandchildren.
He was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. While serving on the Air Force for four years, he traveled to places like Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Japan. But it was in Bangor, Maine where he met his wife Patricia. Shortly after he was discharged, he and Patricia got married in 1956, and moved out to New Jersey.
Once he was out of the service, Ruth decided that he wanted to go into engineering. He knew he would have to go to school to get his degree, and had heard from someone that tuition wasn’t very expensive in California. In the back of his mind, he thought about finding some way to make it out to the west coast.
But first, he had to find a job. He went over to United Airlines in New York to ask for work. Since he had a license as an Aircraft Engine Mechanic, a skill he had acquired from the Air Force, he thought he might be a good fit. They told him that while there was nothing available on the east coast, they did have an opening in San Francisco.
And there it was. His ticket to California.
Ruth made it through their evaluation process, and in 1957, United Airlines offered him the job in San Francisco. So Ruth, his wife, and baby, who had recently been born, ventured out west together.
They rented an apartment in Burlingame, and pretty soon, Ruth quit the airline, so that he could get his education. He started out by taking college courses at the College of San Mateo. Courses were $1 per semester. Once he finished up his courses, he transferred to San Jose State. They moved to a two bedroom apartment on campus for the next few years, while Ruth finished his upper level classwork. He graduated from San Jose State in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
While Ruth had been going to San Jose State, he had been working for Food Machinery and Chemical Corp, by the San Jose Airport. He had an engineering job at that facility; and in 1965, he left that job and went to work at Lockheed in Sunnyvale. He worked at Lockheed from 1965 to 1995.
During his time at Lockheed, Ruth worked as a Research Engineer, a Test Engineer, and a Senior Research Engineer. In his last 10 years with the company, he was a corporate real estate agent, buying and selling all of Lockheed’s real estate in Sunnyvale.
Ruth and Patricia bought their first house in Milpitas in 1963. They lived there until 1978, raising all five of their children. They bought their second home in Milpitas in 1978, and are still living there to this day.
Ruth currently serves as Board President of Terrace Gardens, a senior living facility located in Milpitas.
He’s an avid reader, and loves collecting antiques. He is also a car aficionado, and owns a 1967 Alfa Romeo GTV, which he enjoys taking out to various car shows.
Back in the early nineties, Ruth was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Since then, his kidney functioning has started to decline, and is operating at 20% of its capacity. Ruth is currently looking for a kidney donor, so that he can continue to enjoy a happy, healthy life.
To read more about Richard Ruth’s search for a kidney donor, read this recent news article.