Family, friends of Ruckman brothers remember them at funeral - – Rockford’s News Leader

Family, friends of Ruckman brothers remember them at funeral


It was a somber day as hundreds gathered to say their goodbyes to both Chris and John "Jack" Ruckman during their funeral Friday at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Rockford.

The two brothers were found dead Saturday, March 3, along with their father, P.S. Ruckman. All three died of gunshot wounds; P.S. Ruckman's was self-inflicted, the Winnebago County Coroner says. 

With the large number of people in attendance to pay their respects to the boys and their family, it was evident that they touched the lives of many people.

"It was so overwhelming with the community coming together, the strength and the love of everyone that were touched by these two boys," says their friend, Taylor Ruiz.

Ruiz shared memories of being in the high school band with Chris and says his love for music was infectious. Ruiz also said Chris was the type of kid who would push him to be better and would always encourage him.

"Everyone knew him for his music, and everyone knew how talented he was and how happy he made people," Ruiz said.

Stories were also shared of the positive and outgoing attitudes both Chris and Jack possessed. 

"Incredibly happy, always smiling, always could cheer up the room," Ruiz said.

During the emotional service, many of the boys' friends and family members talked about the happiness that these boys brought to them and many others as well.

Lily Banat says she used to babysit for the Ruckman family and enjoyed spending time with the boys.

"They had their whole lives ahead of them, they were so talented and sweet," Banat said.

Banat also shared the love that both brothers shared for each other and the inseparable bond they had.

"They were just full of energy and life, they were best friends, they were always smiling and laughing, and making the most out of every day," Banat said.

It was a love that many in attendance noticed, including Ruiz, who says even though he was good friends with Chris, he could see the special bond he and his brother shared, through their love of music and each other.

"I know they were incredibly close, almost never apart. Jack was always there to support him no matter what," Ruiz said.

An unbreakable bond, many say, it will continue to live.

Both boys attended Rockford Christian School. The school says there will now be a music scholarship fund in both Chris and Jack's names. The scholarship will be for those who are interested in pursuing their passions in music, just like the Ruckman boys.

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