In Loving Memory of
Richard (Rich) Alexander Ruwell was born on April 17, 1947 and passed away on January 15, 2023. Rich grew up in Manhasset, New York and went on to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. After graduating, he served three years in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and was stationed in Da Nang, Vietnam. During his time of service, Rich was awarded a total of seven medals and badges.
After being honorably discharged from the USMC, Rich worked for several years in the insurance and professional recruiting industries. And in 2009, he decided to pursue more hands-on, service-based work.
Rich spent four years working for The Arc of Somerset County, New Jersey, which serves individuals with disabilities and their families from birth through senior years of life. In 2011, he was named their Residential Direct Support Professional of the year. During this time, he was also actively involved in volunteering with his local church, and when he moved south to Florida, he continued to serve as a volunteer at the Mayo Clinic.
Rich was Josh’s first cousin once removed. And while Josh and I were staying in Florida and dreaming up our plans for Learn2Link (L2L), we were very fortunate to get to spend some time with him. He was always incredibly interested in our ideas to utilize technology as an instrument for peace, and he remained a steadfast supporter of our mission to connect young people living in the U.S. and Vietnam.
When Rich passed away last year, he contributed a portion of his estate to L2L. His generous contribution not only allowed us to surpass our annual fundraising goal for 2023, but it has also put us in a phenomenal position to execute our plans for reaching and serving more young people in the U.S. and Vietnam in 2024.
This year, as we work to strengthen intercultural communication between young people in Vietnam and the U.S., we will remember Richard, his life of service, all that he gave, and all that he continues to give to us now.
Thank you so much, Rich. We wouldn’t be here without you.