Dr. Walter Allwein Ruch

Published 11:21 pm Friday, January 21, 2022

Dr. Walter Allwein Ruch, Jr., 91, passed away at his home in Fairhope, Alabama, on December 16, 2021. He was born August 8, 1930, to the late Dr. Walter A. Ruch, Sr.,and Frances Helmkamp Ruch in Memphis, Tennessee. He was married to Carol Henderson, formerly of Troy, Alabama. 

Walter attended Pentecost Garrison in Memphis before matriculating to The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in 1951 and his medical degree in 1955 from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Upon completing his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Walter joined the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.  In 1962, he returned to Memphis and joined his older brother in practice at Ruch Clinic, which was established by his father. 

Dr. Ruch was a member of The University Club in Memphis, where he was an avid tennis player. He was a communicant at Church of the Holy Communion and later Grace St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. 

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In 1983, he married Carol Henderson, and they enjoyed many years dividing their time between their homes in Memphis and Basalt, Colorado. Following his retirement, they moved to Basalt, where he pursued his love of snow skiing, fly fishing, cooking, and entertaining friends and family at their home on the Frying Pan River.  Walter raised the hobby of fly-tying to an art form, even creating his own fly patterns. Walter and Carol were members of the Roaring Fork Club in Basalt, and they cherished the friends they made in the Basalt and Aspen communities. In August 2020, they moved to Fairhope, Alabama, to be closer to family.

In addition to his parents, Walter was preceded in death by his brother, Dr. Robert M. Ruch. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Carol Henderson Ruch; children Trey (Mary Jane) Ruch of Perdido Beach, Alabama; David (Nancy) Ruch of Memphis, Tennessee; grandchildren Faith Ruch, Maggie Ruch (Russell) Frelinghuysen, Christopher (Corinne) Ruch, Franklin Ruch, and John Ruch; great grandson McCoy Frelinghuysen; sister-in-law Emily Boone Ruch; nieces Dr. Emily “Boo” Ruch and Rondi Ruch (Mark) Lauterbach; nephew Robert M. (Lisa) Ruch, Jr.; as well as many great nieces and nephews. 

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to The Church Health Center, 1359 Concourse Ave., Suite 142, Memphis, TN 38104, or a charity of choice. Arrangements are by Hughes Funeral Home and Crematory in Daphne, AL.