Julia M. Ruhala

September 25, 1933April 27, 2014

Julia May Joseph Ruhala Lansing, Michigan; formerly of Flint, Michigan Julia May Joseph Ruhala died peacefully Sunday, April 27, 2014, with her six children, their spouses and many of her grandchildren at her side. Children were a lifelong love, inspiration, and vocation for Julia, as she was a child advocate for her entire adult life. Born September 25, 1933, in Flint, MI, Julia was an independent minded woman of great compassion. She attended Michigan State University before raising her six children. She then returned to MSU for a Masters in Social Work, working for Catholic Social Services before becoming Executive Director for Lutheran Social Services of Michigan in Lansing. Her work’s mission was to advocate on behalf of children, assuring they would be in safe homes with loving caregivers. Julia was married to Thomas Ruhala for 48 years before his death in 2004. Julia is survived by her children Thomas J. (Janice) Ruhala, Jenifer A. (Michael) Neller, Mark G.(Celina) Ruhala, Margaret J. (Shane) Kelly, Peter J. (Nancy) Ruhala, Susan W. (Jeffrey) Radway; and grandchildren Joseph, Alecia, Michaela, Jena (Thom), Sydney, Dane, Anna, Alison, Jordan, Thomas, and great grandson Connor.


  • Memorial Gathering Sunday, May 4, 2014

Julia M. Ruhala

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted

phyllis evans

May 12, 2014

our condolences to the family.we will always remember then fondly as a remarkable family.ohyllis,brad and bart evans

May 7, 2014

Sincere condolences to you all. Thinking of you, Karin Pfeiffer and family

Kristine West

May 4, 2014

God's blessings to you and your family. Kristine West, Katie Burkhardt and family

May 4, 2014

God's blessings to you and your family. Kristine West, Katie Burkhardt and family.

Gene and Ann Erickson

May 3, 2014

Julie (and Tom) were close friends during those traumatic days when we were all in graduate school. Through the ensuing 55 years we have maintained contact and have visited face-to-face whenever we could. We know each of their children feel a significant void with Julie's passing. It will for us also. Be assured we all loved her.

Marsha Johnson

May 3, 2014

Julie was my cousin, and my idol as a child. She became a well respected and much loved member of her community and was loved by all who knew her. As a little child, my fondest memories were of her sharing her paper dolls with me when the "whole family" lived on Hobson St in Flint. She contributed so much to the world, and she and Tom have six wonderful, successful children, and many grandchildren as well. I will miss her and her memory will be with me always. Rest in peace, cousin

Robert LaBudde

May 2, 2014

FYI: I made a donation to Lutheran Social Services of Lansing in memory of Julia May. Others can also do this by visiting

Patty and Pete Daly

May 2, 2014

Prayers and Hugs to your family. So sorry for your loss.

David M. Ruhala

May 2, 2014

Many thanks, Cousin Julie, for all that you have done to make it possible for our family to adopt 3 wonderful boys from Foster Care.....Jeffrey, Michael and Jason! As well as for just being such a wonderful human being, serving so many people, and always being there to help a person in need or who was looking for a friend!! You will indeed always be remembered, along with your wonderful husband (Cousin) Tom Ruhala. Rest in peace, Julie, congratulations for a job well done!! Bless you and your wonderful family! Dave Ruhala - Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Dick and Arlene Ruhala

May 1, 2014

We extend our sincere condolences to the Julia Ruhala family. We have known Julia and her husband, Tom, for many years. Tom was our first cousin. Julia and Tom were wonderful people who served their community and raised a wonderful family.