Gregory James Ruggles, 41, Defiance, passed into God’s loving care July 3, 2020, dying peacefully at his home.

Greg was born April 11, 1979, in Defiance, Ohio, to David and Linda Ruggles. He attended Defiance City Schools, graduating in 1998. In high school, he was active in the math club, winning statewide math awards. He participated in the Defiance High School Bands and was included in all band activities while in his wheelchair. He attended Wright State University, majoring in mathematics, where he participated in the Pep Band and was a member of the WSU Wheelchair Basketball Team. He also attended Defiance College and Northwest State Community College.

Greg was born with spina bifida and experienced many medical issues during his lifetime. He was a gift from God, bestowing more blessings on his parents and friends than can be imagined. He never allowed his handicap to be a description of his life. Rather he chose to face life with a continuous smile on his face and a positive attitude that inspired everyone who met him, no matter the medical condition. He was an avid Ohio State University football fan and loved sports of any kind. He was an accomplished musician, playing both clarinet and piano. He was a train enthusiast from early childhood and loved filming trains as they passed close to his home. He especially took great pride in having been able to live independently, loving his home and his freedom to make his own choices in life. He loved researching weather patterns and was known as Weatherman Ruggles for posting the daily report on his Facebook page. Greg always had a smile and a wave for people who saw him on his many coffee trips around town in his wheelchair.

Greg is survived by his parents, Dave and Lin Ruggles; and extended family members including many aunts, uncles and cousins. Visitation will be held Thursday, July 9, 2020, at 9:15 a.m. at Riverside Cemetery, followed by a graveside service at 10 a.m., with Rev. Dave Brobston officiating. Family and friends are welcome to bring chairs to use during the visitation and service. Due to the COVID-19 virus, Greg’s family asks that friends practice social distancing during the visitation and service.

In lieu of flowers, Greg’s family asks that memorials be directed to Xperience Church in Defiance, where Greg greatly loved attending services.

Greg will be remembered for his loving heart, his constant smile, his enthusiasm for adventure, his never wavering optimism, and especially for his love of coffee and sushi. Greg’s goodness will live in the hearts of all who knew and loved him, especially his parents.

Schaffer Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements. Condolences may be expressed online at

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