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Ronald E. Rucker
Ronald E. Rucker, 64, of Allentown, Pennsylvania passed away August 26, 2012, in Palmerton Hospital due to complications from a stroke. He was born June 16, 1948, in Shelbyville, Tennessee and was the son of Clarence (Bill) and Nancy Rucker of New Castle, Indiana. He was married to Ann (Leach) Biernat-Rucker for 25 years.
He graduated from Chrysler High School in New Castle, Indiana and Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana with a degree in speech/communications and a minor in theatre/English.
He began his career in theatre, participating as actor, director or producer in over 200 plays. He founded a summer stock theatre, the Nettle Creek Players, in Hagerstown, Indiana. He also co-founded the Human Tree Players, a group dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with disabilities through theatre. He received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Indiana Arts Commission to create a film about their experiences.
Ron served as the Executive Director of the Indianapolis Civic Theatre and the Jasper Community Arts Commission in Jasper, Indiana.
Ron’s life was dedicated to helping people with disabilities. He held management positions at Hillcroft Center in Muncie, Indiana; Fayette-Union ARC in Connersville, Indiana; Hopewell Center in Anderson, Indiana; East Suburban Resources in Cottage Grove, Minnesota; The Institute of Human Resource Development in Glastonbury, Connecticut; and Via of the Lehigh Valley, formally LARC, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Ron sat on the board of the following organizations: the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Allentown Symphony Orchestra, the Association for Persons in Supported Employment (APSE), the Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities and the Pennsylvania Association of Rehabilitation Facilities.
He was the recipient of the John L. Hamilton Award and the Priscilla Payne Hurd Award for his contributions to the rehabilitation industry.
Ron was an avid reader, runner and patron of the arts. He loved great music, collected works of art and was a gourmet cook. Ron was a member of Christ Lutheran Church.
Besides his wife and parents, Ron is survived by a daughter, Hannah Rucker of Allentown; a son, Adam Biernat of New York, New York; a brother Jeff Rucker of Indianapolis, Indiana; and a sister Kristy Rucker of Cincinnati, Ohio.
A service will be held on Thursday, August 30 at 4:00 at Christ Lutheran Church, 1245 West Hamilton Street in Allentown. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be directed to the Association for Persons in Supported Employment, 416 Hungerford Drive, Suite 418, Rockville, Maryland 20850. Arrangements provided by Nicos C. Elias Funeral Home.