James M. Ruesch

James M. Ruesch, Lieutenant Commander United States Navy, retired, 87, died on Nov. 7, 2020.

He was born in Grand Valley, on March 26, 1933, to Elmer (Sam) and Bernadette Ruesch.

He graduated from Titusville High School and he attended and graduated from Slippery Rock State Teachers College. After graduating from college, James entered the Officer Candidate program in Newport, Rhode Island, and was commissioned as a U.S. Navy Ensign. Shortly after his commission ,James married the love of his life, Louise Ande, on Feb. 19, 1956.

For the next 21 years they lived the life of a proud military family in a variety of duty stations: USS Intrepid, USS Hyades, USS Valley Forge and shore assignments in Newport, Philadelphia, and as Executive Officer of the Naval Communications Station in Kodiak, Alaska. He retired from his final duty station in 1975 from COMSURFLANT Staff in Norfolk, Virginia.

James was hired by Virginia Beach City Schools in 1975 as a classroom driver’s education theory teacher. In 1980 he joined the physical education staff at Bayside Junior High School and served as a health and physical education teacher for the next 18 years. During his tenure he was head baseball coach for four years and head football coach for 18 years. He was proud that six of his football teams were Middle School champions, but moreover he was honored to touch the lives of so many young men. He retired from teaching in 1998.

James was a member of the Military Officers Association.

He was preceded in death by is wife of 53 years, Louise. He is survived by his brother, Dale Ruesch, and sister, Audrey August. Immediate family members are daughters; Kathy (Gay) Keefer, Linda (Ron) Gorsline and Karol (John) Foster. Grandchildren are; Kaitlin and Kyle Keefer, Eric and Kristeen Gorsline and Lily and Shelly Foster.

Our father’s life of kindness, gratitude and humility always made the world a better place.

Our family would like to thank the 2 South nurses and staff at Sentara Virginia Beach General and the wonderful staff at Magnolia Manor.

In lieu of flowers, donations are requested in his memory to the American Cancer Society or the American Diabetes Association.

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