Gilbert Ruiz, a former surgical nurse, died Friday at his home in Santa Paula after a brief illness. He was 79.
He was born July 12, 1920, in San Juan de Guadalupe, Durango, Mexico, to Jose and Enriqueta Ruiz. At the age of 4, he moved to California with his parents. When he was a youngster, he served as an alter boy at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Santa Paula.
He later moved to Highland Park and remained there until 1988 when he returned to Santa Paula.
Ruiz worked for 45 years as a surgical nurse at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, St. Vincent's Hospital, City View Hospital and USC Medical Center, all in Los Angeles. He also served in the Order of Saint John of God as a brother for three years at San Antonio Ranch in Chatsworth.
He was a national member of the Assn. of Surgical Technologists.
Ruiz's hobbies included painting, playing the piano and violin, and gardening. He loved to listen to concert music.
He is survived by brothers Joe of Midway City and Ignacio "Nash" of Santa Paula; and sisters Maria E. "Pat" and Mary, both of Santa Paula.