Dave Ruback, president and longtime employee of Radio Engineering Inc. (REI), passed away on May 22 from complications of pancreatic cancer. He was 56.
Ruback was diagnosed in April. He is survived by wife Marcy; sons Joe and K.C; father Paul and stepmother Mary; sister Annette; and brothers Altan and Larry. He was preceded in death by mother Frances.
REI hired Ruback in 1987, and he was promoted to president 11 years later. The statement said he was instrumental in the company's growth and commitment to customer service.
"He was keen on talking to the customer, not hiding behind faxes or emails," stated the company. "He believed the personal touch is what separated REI from the competition. He strived for continuous improvement and pushed REI to be on the cusp of technology to provide superior transportation electronic products.".
In Ruback's personal life, he was a coach of the Nebraska Red Dawgs, which won the Junior National Wheelchair Basketball Association championship both this year and last. Shortly after his death, the NWBA announced it had formed the Dave Ruback Legacy Award in honor of parents of wheelchair athletes who go "above and beyond the norm" in improving the junior division.
Ruback was also a volunteer board treasurer for Make-a-Wish Nebraska for six years, during which time REI said he helped provide 571 children with "hope, strength and joy."
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Make-A-Wish of Nebraska, 11926 Arbor St., Omaha, NE 68144 or Eastern Nebraska Wheelchair Athletic Association (ENWAA), P.O. Box 540875, Omaha, NE 68154.