Robert F. Ruggles, 91, a retired communications consultant, went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, January 29, 2020.
Born October 22, 1928 in Cambridge, Mass., he was a son of the late Ralph H. Ruggles, M.D. and the late Helen (Damon) Ruggles and brother of the late Richard D. Ruggles.
A 1946 graduate of Milton High School, Milton, Mass., he studied English and pre-med at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. He graduated in 1950 and received a Bachelor of Arts/Liberal Arts degree. Bob then enrolled in Boston University’s College of Communications Master’s Program, graduating with honors in 1954 and receiving a Master of Arts/Communications degree. He received additional education by attending the Episcopal Divinity School of Continuing Education in Cambridge and in the Master of Divinity Program at Andover Newton School of Theology in Newton, Mass.
Bob’s career in communications began in 1959 when he was hired as an account executive for WJAR TV-10, Providence, where he worked closely for 10 years with agency account supervisors in developing effective TV ad sales campaigns. In 1969 he became an account executive at WLNE TV-6, New Bedford/Providence, where he translated client marketing needs into TV ad campaigns, created and sold TV commercials using the latest electronic production techniques and established cost-efficient rate cards correlated to current day-part time segment audience ratings.
In 1973 Bob accepted a corporate executive position with Henry Gorman & Sons, Inc., a Providence manufacturer of fine gold and silver jewelry. As the company’s vice president, Bob developed and implemented new and innovative marketing campaigns and, having direct hands-on control of company operations, he reorganized sales positions with catalogs, mail-order houses and wholesale accounts. From 1976-1988, working for Spire Productions Ltd., Providence, he was a public relations consultant to the National Education Association of Rhode Island and a media manager for gubernatorial, lieutenant-governor and general treasurer campaigns. He also provided public relations and marketing expertise to a stock brokerage firm. Working as a regional sales manager for Total Communications, Inc. of Hopkinton, Mass. from 1986-1988, Bob was responsible for opening a corporate sales account with a leading Massachusetts audio/video production company and for the establishment of a regional sales office for Southeastern NE for Total Communications.
In 1989 Bob became an administrative assistant in the General Treasurer’s Office, State of Rhode Island. During his five-year tenure in the treasurer’s office, he provided assistance with the research and development of public policy and programs, the monitoring of legislative proposals, the preparation of opposition research reports and candidate briefings, in the planning and coordinating of the Northeast Treasurer’s Conference, College Bond and High School Business Award Programs. He also authored yearly comprehensive Northern Ireland and South African reports on divestment and conformance policies.
After leaving the treasurer’s office in 1994, Bob served as a communications consultant for “Rhode Island’s Child” television series on higher education; as the campaign manager for “Leonard for Secretary of State,” the incumbent RI Secretary of State; and as a consultant for “Sen. John Feroce for Lt. Governor” campaign. He was a member of the Advertising Club of RI, the Providence Preservation Society, the Public Relations Society of America, the RI Civic Chorale, the RI Philharmonic and Trinity Repertory Company.
As a member of St. Matthew’s Church in Barrington, he served on the church vestry and was a member of the RI Episcopal Diocese Film Committee. He was a former member of the Board of Directors for and past president of the Broadway Theatre League, a non-profit presenter of New York national touring Broadway productions, where he helped establish the RI Scholarship Program at the Yale School of Drama. He also was a member of the Board of Directors for the Holiday Festival.
He is survived by his sister-in-law, Nancy Ruggles of Easton, Mass.; two nieces, Robin Kallfelz and her husband, Rory, of Easton and Rosemary “Mimi” Ruggles of Jacksonville, Florida and their children, Alexandra, Hayley, Merric and Paige, and his dear friend and caregiver, Joanne Azeredo.
His funeral service was held at Carpenter-Jenks Funeral Home, 659 East Greenwich Avenue, West Warwick, on Saturday, February 1. A graveside service was held in Milton Cemetery, Centre Street, Milton, Mass. on Monday, February 3. Condolences may be offered and remembrances shared online at www.carpenterjenks.com.