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Fritz Ernest Ruybal


Ignacio resident Fritz Ernest Ruybal died Monday, July 8, 2013, in Durango. He was 89.

Known as “Ernest,” he was born to Tomas and Adelida Ruybal on Jan. 22, 1924, in Ignacio. He grew up in Chamita, N.M., on the family homestead. He was one of 14 children.

Mr. Ruybal served in the Army during World War II from Nov. 2, 1943, to March 1946. Assigned to the 573rd Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion, he was stationed in northern France, the Rhineland and Central Europe. Mr. Ruybal was awarded the European Medal for Good Conduct and the World War II Victory Medal.

“His most-remembered moment was when the commanding officer came out of his tent,” his family said, “and yelled ‘Hold your fire, the enemy has surrendered, we have accomplished our mission.’”

On May 20, 1947, he married Junia Tucson in Ignacio.

Mr. Ruybal worked for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe as a foreman for the Construction Services division for more than 20 years.

“Ernest loved his family, ranching, farming, spending time in the mountains, his sheep, hunting and playing poker with his friends,” his family said.

Mr. Ruybal was preceded in death by his sons Ernest Ruybal, Jr., and David Ruybal.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Junia Ruybal of Ignacio; children Thomas Ruybal and Benito Ruybal, both of Ignacio, Charles Ruybal of Bayfield and Marie Silva of Gallup, N.M.; siblings Helen Lucero of Farmington, Joseph Thomas Ruybal of Castle Rock, Eloise Ruybal of Greeley, Rebecca Saiz and Isabelle Stone, both of Denver, and Fred Ruybal, Isadore Ruybal and John Ruybal, all of Salt Lake City; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchilden, nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 11, 2013, at the Southern Ute Memorial Chapel, 258 Ute Road in Ignacio.

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