Don Ruebke of Newton, passed away on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016, in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. He was hiking on a mountain trail with his wife, children and grandchildren. He was "riding a wave, on top of the world, the sun at his face, the wind at his back and everything going his way," when his heart stopped and he went to be with his Savior.
Don was born Sept. 20, 1963, to John and Beatrice (Brenneman) Ruebke of Hesston. He graduated from Hesston High School. He married his first love, Michelle Kozaka on Oct. 15, 1983.
Don was loved and respected, epitomizing gentle and quiet strength. He loved His Lord Jesus and acted justly, loved mercy, walked humbly.
Don worked for 32 years at Boeing/Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita, starting as a composite repairman and finishing as an executive. He went back to school while working and raising a family--he graduated summa cum laude with a Masters in Business - emphasis on Leadership from Newman University in 2016.
His favorite past times were spent with his family, playing games or singing hymns. Don was invested in his sons' local Boy Scout Troop 127, backpacking and hiking on four High Adventure trips with his son, Jonathan. He enjoyed traveling to Europe, eating pastries and espresso. He took his first mission trip to Haiti in December of 2015,
Don ran his first 5K race Thanksgiving of 2015, and ran his first half-marathon in May 2016.
Don is survived by his wife, Michelle Ruebke, of Newton. He left a beautiful legacy to ten children, ages 12 to 32; Anna (Richard) Brown of Newton; Jenna (Vincent) Quentin of Newton; Melissa (Dylan) Neubauer of McPherson; Faith Ruebke; Hope Ruebke; Jonathan Ruebke; Charity Ruebke; Grace Ruebke; Michael and Meghan Ruebke.
He was the favorite PapaBear of six grandchildren who came to eat all his goldfish crackers, swim in his pool, and enjoy his famous pancakes: Ryan and Emma Brown; Luca, Maya and Alex Quentin; Tess Neubauer.
Don was preceded in death by his father, John Ruebke, and his child, Jamie Ruebke.
The funeral service was 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, at Grace Community Church in Newton.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to The Citizens State Bank in Newton, In Memory of Don Ruebke.