OBITUARY

N. Michael Rucka

October 3, 1939July 28, 2014

N. MICHAEL RUCKA, NOTED ADVOCATE AND ACTIVIST, DIES AT 74

N. Michael Rucka, known nationally as a pioneer and expert in the field of workers’ compensation and personal injury law, died on 28 July at his home in Salinas, California. He was 74 and had been battling cancer for two years. The founding member of the Rucka, O’Boyle, Lombardo & McKenna law firm in Salinas, California, his contributions to the advocacy and representation of injured workers redefined the field and established him as one of its foremost and most sought-after experts. A former president of the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association, he was a founding member of the Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG) and served as its Chair from 1996-2000. The recipient of numerous professional awards, he argued cases at the local, state, and Federal level. Noted for his compassion and knowledge throughout the community of the Monterey Peninsula, Mr. Rucka was as zealous in pursuit of a full life as he was in pursuing justice for his many clients. A world-traveler who described himself as an eternal and eager student, he was an inspiring educator. His passion for fine wine led him to grow his own grapes and, with three of his dearest friends, turned him to wine-making as a hobby. He enjoyed nothing more than good company with whom to share the fruit of his labors. A voracious reader despite a lifelong struggle with dyslexia, he inspired a love of learning in all around him. A long-time member and past-president of Congregation Beth Israel in Carmel, he remained active in his congregation through his retirement. He loved art in all its myriad forms, but was especially fond of jazz, and attended the Monterey Bay Jazz Festival for many years in the company of his dearest friends. Born 3 October, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York, he moved to Los Angeles when young before his parents, Nettie and Arthur Rucka, finally settled in San Francisco, where Mr. Rucka graduated Lowell High School. He went on to graduate from the University of California at Berkeley, and then earned his law degree from the University of San Francisco. In 1972 he moved his family to Salinas, where he opened ROLM Law. His commitment and compassion were as evident in his home as outside of it. He was devoted to his wife of 53 years, Corrina, and together they raised three children and opened their home to serve as AFS-USA (formerly the American Field Service) host parents to another two, Nilson and Claudia. Mr. Rucka is survived by his wife, Corrina; his sister, Joan; his children Brandy, Greg, and Nicholas; and his grandchildren Sashya, Dashiell, and Elliot. A celebration of his life will be held August 17, 1:30 p.m. at Congregation Beth Israel in Carmel.

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REMEMBERING

N. Michael Rucka

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Allen Salick

August 23, 2015

Mike was a mentor and friend who changed the course of my life for the better. I will miss his good humor and his joie de
vivre.

Joanne Tenenbaum

April 27, 2015

I just learned of Mike's passing. He was a monumental being, compassionate, warm, intelligent, as well as modest and loving. Mike and Corrina were especially generous to my son David, whom they "adopted" during his high school years and hosted many times in their family home. I have not seen the Ruckas for many years, but I will always remember Mike's warmth, humor, kindness and generosity. He was a wonderful human being and a fine attorney. Godspeed, Michael.

Stephen Embry

August 31, 2014

Few will be missed more

Linda Martin

August 16, 2014

My last dinner with Mike and Corry was just a few days prior to their last trip to Europe. Corry had dental surgery that day so Mike asked me over to their home. Mike fixed Corry and I corned beef sandwhiches accompanied with one of his finest bottles of wine from his personal cellar. Who knew it would be our last supper.....there will never be another Michael Rucka.

Dahlia Gonzalez

August 15, 2014

I worked with Michael for over 25 years until he retired. Being both from Brooklyn, New York, we were a perfect fit. He was not a force to be reckoned with when it came to his clients. He was tenacious and compassionate when it came to his clients and would find all possible avenues to help them.
He would often offer me advice, many times unsolicited, but that's what he did, especially if he cared for you. I learned so much from him and he helped me grow as a person and as a paralegal.
Michael, you will always hold a special place in my heart and will be missed so deeply.
My most heartfelt condolences to Corry, Brandy, Greg, Nick and their families.

Carol Ryan

August 9, 2014

I always felt, emanating from Michael Rucka, compassion and a tender regard, though our encounters over some 30 plus years were brief and cursory. My condolences to Correy, Greg, Nickki and Brandy.

August 5, 2014

My fondest memory of Mike is when I asked him to do a workshop for members of the business community on what employers should look for in the area of workers' comp,. Mike was up to the challenge and provided a very informative session - even though it was a tough session for employers in attendance. He was definitely a pioneer in the field.

My sincere sympathy to Mike's family -


Bev Meamber
Retired CEO, Salinas Valley Chamber

Ruth Gonzales

August 1, 2014

I remember you coming by our desks and saying I need a short letter; it was never short. You were a great man with many, many words and you knew how to use them. I will miss you.

allen salick

July 31, 2014

Mike was an inspiration to me as a physician and as a teacher and mentor and a friend. I will miss his blustery good humor and his joy of life. I cherish the memories of sharing with him the good and happy times...Allen Salick, MD

Maureen D. Miner MD

July 31, 2014

Having worked with Michael Rucka for over 15 years as a treating worker's compensation physician and QME in Gilroy, I have long respected this learned and compassionate man. May we all pause to thank him for his life-long dedication to helping those who needed his expertise, and for teaching us through his work how to serve our fellow man. Most respectfully, Maureen D. Miner, MD