Louis Herbert Ruhland was born August 6th, 1927, in Plain, Wisconsin. He died at home in Kelso, Washington on February 28, 2022.
Louie was the eighth of nine children born to Alois A. and Christina A. (Schwartz) Ruhland. He had fond memories of growing up in the small, pretty little town, attending St. Luke School and earning money selling newspapers, running errands, and doing odd jobs at the local grocery store.
Too young at 16 to join the military he convinced his parents to let him travel to New York City to join the merchant marines. He served on a merchant ship until he was eligible to join the US Navy in 1944. He served in the Pacific on a troop transport ship. When WWII ended, He was stationed at Astoria, OR. While there he met his future wife, Edith Long of Portland, OR. Louie and Edith were married in 1947 in Plain, Wisconsin, they had one son, Howard D. Ruhland. He and his family settled first on the Oregon coast, then returned briefly to Wisconsin before finally settling in Longview, Washington In 1952.
Louie worked in the lumber shipping department of the Weyerhaeuser mill for 37 years. He retired in 1989.
In 1964 Louie and Faith King were married. They had two children, Scott L. Ruhland and Diane C. Ruhland DiGleria. They built their house, from the ground up, and did all of their landscaping. They lived in their home for more than 54 years.
The family enjoyed annual vacations to the Midwest and all of the sites in between.
Louie was a devout Catholic and attended mass at St. Mary’s Church in Kelso.
While organized sports were not an option during his childhood, he was active in the Kalama-Rose Valley Little League. He led his team into the Little League Tournament of Champions where his team took 2nd place.
In later years, he returned to assist Scott in coaching at that same ballpark. Louis was a diehard Seattle Mariners fan and enjoyed the Seahawks and Blazers as well.
Louie passed on the tradition of hunting to multiple generations and passed on stories that will live on for years to come. He outlived most of his close friends but spoke of them often especially when fishing or hunting.
His respect for the sport was only conflicted by his wife’s birthday which always landed during elk season. Many of Faith’s birthdays were welcomed with an elk to hang up for butchering.
Because Louie was born from the Great Depression, he always saw opportunities to use every item to the last twig. Nothing was ever more self-evident than a stray piece of firewood. Louie took great pride in his massive woodpile. He would go well out of his way to save any piece of wood or stick for his pile. He loved to cut firewood, which he did until right before he passed away. He worked chainsaws and bars to the bone and was treated with such respect by Cowlitz River Rigging.
Without question, Louie’s most famous hobby was fishing. During his 20 plus years of retirement, he was a legend on the Cowlitz and Columbia rivers. His smoked salmon was sought after all across the country. For the many that knew him by name or just by his boat, people always wanted to know how many fish he had caught. The answer depended on how well he knew you and it was answered simply with the sign of his fingers, perhaps a reference to his love of baseball. He was a master of proper anchoring and whenever he picked his spot, a “hog line” or row of boats would soon follow.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years Faith K. Ruhland, son Scott (Nicole) Ruhland, daughter Diane (Adam) DiGleria, grandchildren Christopher Ruhland, Laura (Kent) Madison, Ryan Ruhland, RaeAnne Ruhland Fox, Brandon, Bregan, Sayla and Sydney Ruhland, great grandchildren Logan and Faith M. Ruhland, daughter in law Beverlee Ruhland, sister-in-law, Luena Meister, niece Kimberly Grosse and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Louie was preceded in death by his parents, Alois and Christina Ruhland, 5 sisters, Florence (Dave) Hogan, Irma (Wally) Haas, Bernadine (Cyril) Volk, Josephine (Walter), Diane Ruhland, 3 brothers, Edward (Lucy), Charles and Daniel Ruhland, his wife Edith, son Howard and granddaughter Keely Ruhland.
In nearly 60 years of marriage couples share many joys and sorrows. Louie was not a great talker, but he had an infinite number of small, sweet, and funny ways of showing his love to us. His family and home were the core of his existence.
We are thankful to the Hospice team for their support in Louie’s final days and to the friends and neighbors who have been so gracious and thoughtful.