John Edward Ruedy passed away peacefully at his home on May 22 with his loving family by his side after a courageous and hard-fought battle with lung cancer. John was a man devoted to his wife, Michelle, and their two children, Paige (26) and Derek (23).
John was born on November 25, 1966, in Culver City, California to Gary Ruedy and Lucy Dennis. John grew up in Chatsworth, where he attended Chatsworth Elementary, Faith Baptist School, and Chatsworth High School. His family spent many summer vacations at the Colorado River, where boating became a part of his life. He learned to waterski at age five. He played baseball in his youth, but football stole his heart in high school. He wasn’t sure what path to take after high school, so he attended junior college to do some soul searching. He took a fire science class and realized this was his calling.
He began his career with the Los Angeles Fire Department on July 9, 1989. He promoted to engineer in June 1999, achieved the rank of Captain I in August 2003, and became a Captain II in February 2016. He worked all throughout the city during his career, but his time as a Captain I at Fire Station 89 was where he found his fire family. John worked hard at classes and training to be at a USAR fire station, on a CAL Fire team as well as the LAFD FEMA Team. John’s final years were spent as the Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Unit commander, as well as the liaison for the LAFD’s state and federal US&R task forces.
In November 2020, John was named LAFD Firefighter of the Month. Rick Najera described John to a T, “John was an honorable man with a strong work ethic, led his life with integrity, had a solid moral compass, and most importantly, he loved his family and always put them first. He was a great role model for me. I will never forget his quiet and patient demeanor. He led with presence and example; he never raised his voice.”
John met the love of his life during the last week of July in 1992 after a softball game he was playing in; he was introduced to Michelle by mutual friends. They married on November 13, 1993, and moved to Simi Valley to begin their journey together. They were blessed with two amazing and beautiful children, Paige and Derek. They spent their summers on the lake and the rest of each year cheering on Paige and Derek in whatever sport they were involved in. They loved traveling as a family and were blessed to see many wonderful places together. John touched so many lives as the amazing husband, father, son/son-in-law, brother/brother-in-law, uncle, nephew, cousin, and friend that he was.