He was born Nov. 7, 1947, in Pueblo, Colo. to Edith and Max Ruzanski. Max passed away several weeks later. Bill’s early childhood was spent in Missouri. The family moved to California in 1955, where he stayed, often caring for his younger sister, until he joined the army in 1964.
He enlisted in the US Army at age 17, completed initial entry training at Ft. Leonard Wood Missouri, advanced infantry training at Ft. Ord, Calif. and reported to Schofield Bks., Hawaii. Days after his 18th birthday, his unit deployed to Vietnam where he served honorably and earned multiple awards and citations. Bill’s military travels also took him to San Francisco, Calif. and to Greece, where he befriended his military counterparts and became fluent in Greek. He left the army in 1970, married in 1976, and moved to Montana in 1979. Professionally, he drove log trucks, chip trucks, and eventually fuel tankers, often competing in proficiency competitions and always winning. After retiring from truck driving in 2010, he spent most of his days enjoying the company of his grandchildren and the friendship of his neighbors at Buena Vista.
Bill was preceded in death by his father, Max Ruzanski; his mother, Edith Marks; two brothers, James and Max; son, Jonathan Hughes; and sister-in-law, Cindy Querforth.
He is survived by Lois Ruzanski, his devoted wife of 37 years; sons Brian Hughes, Ralph Hughes, and William Ruzanski; daughter, Cynthia Charles; sister, Joyce Coffman; mother-in-law, Beverly Trull; his nine beloved grandchildren: Ashley, Cameron, Deryck, Feyedra, and Genevieve Hughes; Gwendolyn and Victoria Charles; and William and Andrew Ruzanski. Survivors also include five brothers-in-law and multiple nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews.
Services, with full military honors, will be held at the State Veteran’s Cemetery at 1 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 3. A memorial gathering will follow at a location to be announced.