Norman "Norm" Joseph Ruder

August 2, 1932September 10, 2018

Norman Joseph Ruder was born in Hays, Kansas on August 2, 1932. He passed away peacefully in his sleep at home on September 10, 2018. Norm was born to Carl and Rose Ruder, the 8th of 9 children. He was raised on the family farm and attended St. Josephs Military Academy (Thomas Moore Prep). He was proud of his alma mater and often returned to Hays to attend the class reunions. After high school Norm enlisted in the Army. He was proud of the time he spent serving his country. While attending a wedding he met Millie, the love of his life, they dated and Millie waited for Norm to return from Korea. They continued dating and were married in 1955. After returning home from Korea, he attended college at Fort Hays State University and received his degree in Animal Science. Norm was a career Salesman in the animal health industry. His career took his family to live in Denver, CO, Billings, MT, Boise, ID, Anaheim, CA and finally settling in Bakersfield in 1972. Needless to say Norm made many friends and contacts all over the western United States. He loved his career and was the type of salesman that always had a good joke and could make friends easily. One of Norm’s nephews recently reminisced that he had a loving personality and a zest for life! Norm and Millie loved to entertain. We all can remember some epic events with family and friends, or both. No matter what the occasion as long as people were together Stormin' Norman was the life of the party and we always had good times together. Norm enjoyed cooking. Whether in the kitchen making a big batch of chili or cooking on the grill in the back yard, he was one of the best. He was famous for homemade sausage and grilled or smoked meats. There was also the annual tomato canning event. Family and neighbors would gather to spend the weekend canning fresh picked tomatoes to enjoy throughout the year. Norm and Millie spent their retirement years in Kingman, AZ but returned to Bakersfield in 2013 to help their daughter Lisa deal with cancer. They were devastated to lose her in 2016. Norm is survived by his loving wife of 63 years Millie; Sisters Lorraine Cook and Bernice Unrein; Sons: Mike (Liz), Mark (Robin), Marty (Renee); Grandchildren: John-Michael (Meredith), Jenna (Hugh), Brice (Natalie), Ryan, Amanda, Craig, Leslie and Great-granddaughter, Presley Ruder. He will be greatly missed by many friends and family.


  • Funeral Service Friday, September 28, 2018
  • Graveside Service Friday, September 28, 2018

Norman "Norm" Joseph Ruder

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Keith Unrein

September 20, 2018

Aunt Millie and Family,
I was saddened to hear of Sonny’s passing. A man that you would want to dine with. Loved to enjoy food, drink and memorable stories. The laughter and joy was contagious. Another passion was his politics. He will never be bothered by the Liberals as there are none in heaven. Comfort & peace to you