Obituary: Herman Jude Ruether

Educator, scholar, author

Herman Jude Ruether, a resident of Pilgrim Place in Claremont, died there on June 17.

Born in Norwood, Ohio on November 11, 1930, to Herman and Elizabeth (Mollner) Ruether, Herman Jude Ruether graduated from Purcell High School and from Xavier University. Known to his friends as “Herc,” he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served as a military police officer in Korea.

Returning to Cincinnati in 1954, he taught in the public school system and continued his education. In 1956, he began attending Claremont Graduate School (now Claremont Graduate University) and earned his master’s degree in political science. He did doctoral work in political economy and Asian studies, which took him to India to do research for his thesis. In Claremont, he met Rosemary Radford when she was a student at Scripps College, and they married in 1957. They and their three children moved to Washington D.C. in 1965, and to Evanston, Illinois in 1976.

An educator and scholar, he taught at California State Polytechnic College (Pomona campus), the American University in Washington D.C., DePaul University, Oakton Community College, Truman College, Shimer College, and various other universities and colleges in the Chicago area. He taught courses primarily in political science, but also economics and English as a second language, among others. From 1985 to 1986, he was interim director of the Palestine Human Rights Campaign and with Rosemary Radford Ruether he co-authored “The Wrath of Jonah: The Crisis of Religious Nationalism in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” in 1989.

The couple moved to Pilgrim Place in 2002, returning to the town where they met. There, he enjoyed working in the gardens, being active in lecture groups and the Friends of Sabeel North America and serving causes that promote peace and equality in the world. He was an avid reader, researcher, and book collector. The couple continued to travel the globe. He loved to meet new people and learn about the places they were from.

He was predeceased by his wife Rosemary, and his sister, Mary Joy Whelpton.

He is survived by his children Rebecca, David, and Mimi (Matthew Parker), and grandsons Nicolas and Joseph.


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