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A light went out in Shelby County on Wednesday with the passing of a man who was not only a dedicated public servant but also a devoted family man.
Fred Ruble, 74, was a former Shelby County Sheriff, serving in that capacity from 1983-89. He was also a former state government employee and school bus driver.
Shelby County Deputy Judge-Executive Rusty Newton said it will not be same in Bagdad without Ruble, who has lived there with his wife, Geneva, since they were married in 1955.
“He was very active in our Ruritan Club in Bagdad; he was a past president,” Newton said. “I’m sure going to miss him.”
Shelby County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger, who also lives in Bagdad, said what he will always remember about Ruble is his giving nature and especially his devotion to his wife.
“Freddie was about as down to earth as anyone could be, whenever he’d see you, he would go out of his way to speak to you and say hi,” he said. “And I never saw anybody more devoted to their wife than he was. She has been ill for a quite a while, and he stayed by her side through all of that.”
That’s what Newton said he would never forget, either.
“You’d see Freddie at the store, and he’d talk for a few minutes, and then he’d say, ‘Well, I’ve got to run, got to get back home to Neva,’ he’d say.”
The Rubles were featured in a Valentine’s Day article in The Sentinel-Newsthis past February because of their devotion to each other.
Ruble, a longtime farmer, was also very well-known and liked among the farming community, and Rothenburger, who also comes from a farming family, said he and his family think the world of him.
“He was just an outstanding person, and we’ll miss him, especially my brother, John. They were just inseparable,” he said.
Ruble’s life-long friend, Ryburn Weakley of Shelbyville, has kept in touch with him since he has known him, and that is pretty much his entire life, he said.
“I’ll never forget the first time I saw him,” he said. “I was 8 years old, and his family moved into the house we had just moved out of. I saw his mother carrying him into the house. I guess he was about a year old, and I thought, I wonder what that kid will turn out to be like, never guessing we would wind up being such good friends.”
Weakley added that he will always feel close to Ruble’s family, his children, Wesley and Renee, as well as his wife.
“He’s been a good friend of mine, and his wife is a real sweet lady,” he said. “I remember when Freddie had to have his throat surgery, and he was worried about not being to talk, because of what effect it might have on her. He always thought of her first, always.”
Ruble was a graduate of Bagdad High School and a member of the Buffalo Lick Baptist Church. He was a member of the Shelby County Fair Board and the Kentucky Sheriff’s Association.