Leroy Ruetz

Lee, 95, died peacefully at the Bay Area Regional Medical Center on January 24, 2018. A Navy veteran of World War II, serving as a Radio Technician 1st Class (CPO), he was awarded the American Area, Asiatic Pacific Area, and American Defense Ribbons.

Lee was born on July 24, 1922 in Michigan City, IN to Raymond and Hilda Ruetz. He joined the USNR November 12, 1941 and was assigned to the USNTS Great Lakes, IL. He served during the war in the Pacific Theater of Operations in a classified role.

Lee was a brave and loyal sailor as well as a patient and loving father and husband. He lived his life as a strong example of faith and trust in God, treating everyone with kindness, respect and genuine interest in them. Lee never met a stranger, always eager to have a conversation with anyone who wanted to talk. Following his Honorable Discharge from the United States Navy in October of 1945 he enrolled in Valparaiso University, graduating in 1949. Part of his early professional career included working as technical director for the Kukla, Fran and Ollie show at the WGN network in Chicago. A natural mathematician and astronomy enthusiast, he found his life’s calling as a NASA engineer. In 1963 he continued his service to his country in the space program at Johnson Space Center in Houston until his retirement in 1989.

Lee is survived by his wife, Jacqueline Satterfield-Ruetz, his children Karin Spence (Larry), Kristin Martinez (Rudy), and Eric Ruetz, his step-children James Satterfield, Jr. (Tay) and Lee Satterfield Turner (Mark), his grandchildren, Jason and Kim Hester, Fred Wilson, Kaitlyn and James Satterfield, and E.J. Turner, and great-grandson Jameson. He is also survived by his brother Ray Ruetz (Joy) and his sister Virginia Rosewicz.

Pastor Brian Weaver of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, in Nassau Bay, TX will lead a memorial service in the chapel on Tuesday, January 30th at 2:00 P.M. Reception to follow. Lee will be laid to rest with a military honors service at Houston National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Norwegian Seaman’s Church Houston at https://www.sjomannskirken.no/kirke/houston/en/give/.



  1. Kristin, Karin, Eric and family.. my heart is sad for you all but my heart is also glad as God was ready for your Dad/Husband/Granddad to be in his eternal resting place. May God give you all strength & comfort knowing he is in the best hands ever! Sending much love & hugs..

    Susan Landers
    • Thank you, Susan.

      Love you!

  2. Karin, Kristen and Eric,
    I remember your Dad with fond memories, especially when he brought a TV to the Suess family reunion in LaGrange in July 1969 so we could all watch the first man step on the moon. I know you will all miss him.

    Margaret and Elroy Bernstein
    • Thank you, both for your kind words. And thanks for coming to his service, it meant so much to us all!

  3. Many fond memories of Uncle Lee. He was definitely someone I always admired and looked up to. So sorry for your loss.

    Greg Ruggles
    • Thank you for your kind words, Greg. It’s been a long time since our families were together, but I still remember fondly, the summer we traveled to see you and your family.

  4. Karin, Kristen, and Eric – I, too, remember your Dad with fondness from the Suess
    family reunions. So sorry to hear of his passing. My love and special thoughts to
    all of you.

    Connie Pickens
    • Thank you for your kind words, Connie. Love from us all.

  5. Karin, Kristin and mom, my sincerest condolences

    Rhonda Thomas
    • Thank you, Rhonda.

  6. Many wonderful memories of Lee come to my mind. He was a wonderful person, and friend, kind, intelligent, always with a smile, and happy to see you. He is a great loss to this world and will be dearly missed especially by me. Love, Mary

    Mary Walton
  7. Our thoughts are with the whole family. Lee was a very dear friend to my father and I always thought Lee was just such a nice and wonderful person. He always had time to say hi to me and was even kind enough to tell me stories of my Dad after his passing. I will always be grateful and I am so sorry to hear he is no longer with us.

    Carmody Quinn
    • Thanks for sharing these kind words, Carmody. I know your dad and our dad were great friends for a very long time. That was a blessing.

  8. Mrs. Satterfield-Ruetz,

    Please accept our deepest and most sincere condolences on the passing of Mr. Lee. It was an honor to have known such a great person and we will truly miss his friendliness. May his soul rest in peace and may God embrace you in comfort during this difficult time.

    The Hoang Family (Mike, Van, William and Liz)

    Mike Hoang
  9. Karin, Kristin, & Eric,

    I am so sorry for your loss. It is good that you had your Father for such a long time, but that doesn’t make you miss him any less. May God bless you all.

    Mary Kay McMurrough
    • Thank you for your kind words, Mary Kay, You are right, we will miss him greatly.

  10. You are my hero, Grandpa. You taught me so much about life, love, happiness, and never ending wonder at this beautiful god-given universe we’re all thrown into. I can only hope to honor you by heeding the perpetual optimism you showed us through the path that you walked in this life. You will be sorely missed.

    Your Grandson

    Jason Hester
    • Beautiful tribute to Grandpa, Jason! Love you.

  11. With love and sympathy, many of my prayers have been lifted on your behalf, family, to “the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ. After you have suffered a little while, He will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. – 1 Peter 5:10
    My thoughts are fixed on what a reunion it must’ve been for Uncle Lee and my dear mom, Joan, his sister when she welcomed him into the gates of Glory with Jesus!

    Gayle Ruggles Hughes
    • Thank you, Gayle. Yes, what a blessed reunion they must have had!

  12. I “met” Mr. Ruetz through WWII postcards I found after my parents had died. He wrote to my parents when he and my dad were in the Navy and my mother was following Dad port to port until he shipped out for “parts unknown” January 1944. I wrote to Mr. Ruetz and sent him some copies of the postcards. He was very kind and sent me a long letter recalling his memories of my parents. It was a wonderful experience to encounter my parents via Lee Reutz’s youthful memories. He told me he had enjoyed having a chance to recall them and his young self during WWII.

    I am thankful for my contact with him. My belated condolences to his family and friends.

    Judy Jensvold

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