Cover photo for David Ernest Ruiter's Obituary
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1948 David 2021

David Ernest Ruiter

February 2, 1948 — February 4, 2021

David Ernest Ruiter, 73, of Grants Pass, died February 4, 2021, at his home, following an extended illness. Dave was born February 2, 1948, in Muskegon, Michigan, to Ernest and Rhea Ruiter (Wilk). In 1966 he graduated from Grand Haven High School and in 1970 he graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Fisheries Biology. After being drafted into the US Army in 1970, he had the opportunity to live in and enjoy the culture of Germany for a year. In 1970 Dave married Terry Eaton in Flint, Michigan. They spent the next 50 years enjoying their life together.

Dave’s college graduation coincided with the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act and the recognition that effects on the environment should be considered when decisions are made about proposals or the designs of projects and activities by the federal government.  Dave’s career was spent in the assessment of impacts on water and water resources. As part of his study of impacts on aquatic insects, he became fascinated by caddisflies (Trichoptera) and began a journey that continued the rest of his life. He loved learning about these critters and sharing information with others. He considered himself to be a gentleman trichopterologist and he was well published and respected by the international caddisfly community.

His family considers him a lovable curmudgeon with a sharp wit and an eye for bug butts. He was an excellent woodworker and fly fisherman with a love of local beers and restaurants.

Dave is survived by his wife Terry; his brother, Kenneth (Pam); his sister, Sandra Borden (Gregory); and nieces, Sara and Anna Ruiter. He is preceded in death by his parents.

Arrangements handled by Stephens Family Chapel.

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