AUSTIN, Texas Rodney Nicholas Ruder, 70, of Austin, passed away Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, at the Heart Hospital of Austin.
Rod was born March 26, 1951, in Hays, Kan., the son of Anthony and Armella (Denning) Ruder. He married Donna Morris on June 16, 1973.
He was a 30-year manager of Kuhns Diamond Jewelers in Hays and most recently was an employee of the Internal Revenue Service in Austin.
Rod was a 1969 graduate of St. Josephs Military Academy in Hays and a 1974 graduate of Fort Hays State University. He was a four-year letterman in baseball at FHSU and was inducted into the Tiger Sports Hall of Fame in 2001. Rod also was a member of the Hays American Legion baseball programs state championship teams in 1967 and 1968, and he was the coach of the Hays Legion team that won the state title in 1974. He also played for the Hays Larks, a collegiate summer baseball program.
Rod was a loyal friend to many past and present Hays area residents. He was a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Hays and a lifetime member of the Fort Hays State University Alumni Association. He also was a dedicated supporter of Catholic education in Hays. Rod and Donna received Thomas More Prep-Marians Alumni Service Award in 2000, and they were awarded the Jack Schramm Spirit Award in 2021 by the TMP-Marian Booster Club.
Rod is survived by his wife, Donna, of the home; daughters Cori Lynn Ruder and Erin Renee Ruder Dann, both of Austin; son, Burke Christopher Ruder and wife Jessica (May) Ruder, of Austin; and granddaughter, Kayleigh Rae Dann, and grandson, Everett Rodney Ruder, both of Austin; brothers, Roger and wife Carol, of San Antonio, and Russ and wife Janel, of Hays; sister, RaNell Ruder and husband Brad Catt, of Salina, Kan.; sister-in-law Donna Ruder, of Frisco, Texas, sister-in-law Connie Tursic and brother-in-law Paul Tursic, of Marengo, Ohio, and brother-in-law Craig Morris and sister-in-law Jean Morris, of Austin; and 13 nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Ronald Ruder.
Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, at Harrell Funeral Home 4435 Frontier Trail, Austin, TX 78745. A Celebration of Life will follow at 2 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to TMP-Marian High School, 1701 Hall St., Hays, KS 67601, in memory of Rod Ruder, or to the Fort Hays State University Foundation, One Tiger Place, Hays, KS 67601, designating the FHSU baseball program.
Local assistance by Brocks-Keithley Funeral Chapel and Crematory 2509 Vine Hays, KS 67601