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Vincent C. Ruiz; Longtime Community Leader

May 04, 2000

Vincent C. Ruiz, a former school board member and labor leader, died Monday in Ventura after a brief illness. He was 71.

He was born Aug. 2, 1928, in Sonora, Ariz., and moved to Ventura County in the early 1940s. He graduated from Santa Paula High School in 1947.

A Korean War Army veteran, he was a member of Santa Paula VFW Mercer Prieto Post No. 2043.

When his children were young, Ruiz coached baseball with the coastal Little League and was a director and basketball coach for the Ventura Youth Basketball Assn.

Ruiz retired from Construction Laborers Local No. 585, where he had been president and a member of the Laborers Council for Latin American Advancement.

He was elected to the Ventura Unified School District Board in 1971 and served for 21 years, including six years as president. For 11 years he served on the National School Board Assn., Large District Forum, of which he was president for two years.

Ruiz was also active in local and national politics and instrumental in the formation of the Democratic Party of Ventura County. He spent many hours campaigning, fund-raising and working on voter registration.

He was on the board of directors of the Ventura County United Fund, now known as United Way; the Ventura Chamber of Commerce; Food Share of Ventura County; and the Ventura Arts Council. He also was a member of the Sunrise Optimist Club of Ventura.

Ruiz also was a member of Community Presbyterian Church in Ventura and served on the board of deacons.

He is survived by his wife, Doris of Ventura; sons, Vincent A. Ruiz, Jr. and Robert A. Ruiz of Ventura, David R. Davis of Australia, Donald W. Davis of Santa Barbara and Jarold F. Davis of Oxnard; daughters, Annette C. Ruiz of Simi Valley and Sara Theresa Harrison of Bakersfield; brothers Frank of Ventura, Richard of Santa Paula, Julian of Camarillo, and Orestes "Chuck" of Ventura; a sister, Norma Lopez of Santa Paula; and eight grandchildren.

Services are scheduled at 11 a.m. Friday at Community Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. Mark Patterson officiating. A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall. Military burial is scheduled at 3 p.m. at Santa Paula Cemetery, with the Mercer Prieto VFW Post No. 2043 officiating.

Memorial contributions may be made to Project Understanding, 43 E. Vince St., Ventura, CA 93001, or Food Share Inc., Regional Food Bank of Ventura County, P.O. Box 4596, Ventura, CA 93007.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Ted Mayr Funeral Home in Ventura.

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