UNION PIER — Philip C. Ruddy, 78, beloved husband, father, grandfather and prominent attorney, died peacefully and surrounded by family, at his home in Union Pier, Michigan on Thursday, June 25, 2020.
A true renaissance man who vividly embraced and loved life, he was born, lived and practiced law in Aurora, Illinois, until 2013, when he and his wife Colleen moved full-time to their wonderful cottage in Michigan.
Mr. Ruddy attended Holy Angels School and Marmion Military Academy, and received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Notre Dame. He began his legal career in 1966 as a law clerk to Chief Justice Roy J. Solfisburg of the Illinois Supreme Court, and then joined the law firm founded by his father, Clarence J. Ruddy. The original firm, Ruddy, Myler and Bartsch, eventually became known as Myler, Ruddy and McTavish, in which Mr. Ruddy worked for over 45 years.
In addition to the practice of law, Mr. Ruddy also held many civic and political positions, including serving as City Attorney and then Corporation Counsel for the city of Aurora from 1969 until 1976. In 1970, the Illinois Junior Chamber of Commerce selected him as one of three outstanding young men in the state. He also served for many years as Vice Chairman of the Aurora Human Relations Commission. In 1972, Mr. Ruddy was elected a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Miami, and served as an Illinois Special Assistant Attorney General from 1984 through 1988. He was a founder and an original director of the Kane County Bar Foundation from 1966 through 2001, and an active member of the Illinois State Bar Association, where he served as Chairman of the Ethics Committee. In his later years, Mr. Ruddy also relished serving as a volunteer docent for the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at The University of Notre Dame.
Mr. Ruddy is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Colleen (Murray), his son Philip C. Ruddy Jr. (wife Ana) of Glendale, California, his daughter Erin Ruddy Sabey (husband Andrew) of Lafayette, California, and his grandchildren Julia Colleen Sabey, Reed Andrew Sabey and Benjamin Oak Ruddy. He is also survived by his sister Mary Margaret Ruddy Zumoff (husband Robert) of Tempe, Arizona and his brother C. John Ruddy (wife Lorna) of Aurora.
Mr. Ruddy’s gregarious “joie de vivre” was renowned and exemplified through his love of family, friends, food, wine, film, art, philosophy, history, fresh flowers, and classical, blues, and rock and roll music. He also loved to travel, including many trips to Southern France and Northern Italy, as well as Mexico, Greece, and his ancestral home of Ireland. He never missed a sunset if he could help it, preferably on a beach, with his wife at his side and a glass of wine in his hand.
Even as his illness progressed, Mr. Ruddy never stopped sharing his enthusiasm and appreciation for all that life has to offer – a sentiment that was echoed time and again, by the kind words he received from family and friends around the world, whose lives he touched in ways both big and small. In his honor, we invite you to embrace life, take time to enjoy every moment, the sun, the sky, the flowers – and toast every sunset, for the days we are gifted.
In light of Covid-19, there will be no services at this time. In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to consider a donation to your local hospice organization.