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Dr. Arthur Kenneth Ruebel Feb. 7, 1911 - Dec. 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dr. Arthur Kenneth Ruebel was born on Feb. 7, 1911 in Barnum, to Arthur Phillip and Mabel Hill Ruebel. He died at home on Dec. 9, at the age of 98.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, Dec. 12, in the chapel of the Laufersweiler-Sievers Funeral Home in Fort Dodge, with the Rev. Gary Bird officiating.

He graduated from Barnum High School, Buena Vista College, attended graduate school at the University of Iowa and Iowa State College, receiving his DVM from the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1944. Due to the limited resources of the depression and WWII, Art completed the required classes in three years.

He is survived by his wife, Helen Steig Ruebel whom he married in 1933, daughter Sally (Rodney) Amlie, of Humboldt, son Thomas (Carol) of Sturgis, S.D., and daughter Janet (James) Bergman of Indianola and grandchildren Nick (Elaine) Amlie, Nancy Karr, Judy Amlie, Thomas (Sylvia) Amlie, Brad (Anna) Bergman, Eric Bergman (Elizabeth Joyce), Nicole (Eric) Risovi, Yvette (Scott) Rikli and fourteen great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his brother, Roy.

He taught, coached and was school administrator in Burnside, Blairsburg, Grafton, and Vernon Township in Humboldt County before becoming a veterinarian. He practiced in Fort Dodge and Spirit Lake for over twenty-five years, with the help of his devoted wife Helen. Along with several other veterinarians he started Diamond Laboratories, a veterinary pharmaceutical firm in Des Moines, serving as director. Later he bought and managed a grain elevator, owned a small loan business and became a real estate broker. He was a licensed appraiser and a farm owner and manager. After he retired from business he made a study of and became literate in computers, and shared his knowledge with others.

He was a charter member of the Spirit Lake Kiwanis and was also in Golden Kiwanis. He was active in the Presbyterian Church for many years and served on many boards. He also served as president of the school board for several terms during which time that district consolidated. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge and the Shrine. In 1958, he received the Carnegie Life Saving Award for risking his life by going into a burning car through the broken windshield to pull to safety six injured and unconscious teenagers, along with the help of his son, Tom. Buena Vista University recognized Art and Helen in 1994 by naming a room in their new library for them.

He was an avid hunter and fisherman, spending many weeks hunting wildlife on horseback in the western states and fishing on Spirit Lake. He loved horses and spent time in his youth working with draft animals. He and Helen spent many winters in their home in Leisure World in Mesa, where he enjoyed playing golf. He also played bridge and pool. After moving to Kenyon Place in Fort Dodge in 2007 from their lake home in Spirit Lake, he organized pool tournaments with his friends. On Aug. 14, 2009, he and Helen celebrated their 76 years of marriage. The pursuit of the great American dream was important to him, working tirelessly his entire life to meet and exceed his goals. He lived his life fully, never letting the adversity of the Great Depression or health problems overcome him. His love of family came first and he inspired several generation to live their lives with the same work ethic and enthusiasm.

Memorials may be left to the University of Iowa State Veterinarian School in Ames.