Dennis R Ruez,Jr., 46, passed away at his home on October 9, 2019.
He was born on April 1, 1973 in Harvard, MA the son of Dennis Ruez Sr. and Pam (Campbell) Ruez. He married Valerie Bennett.
He received his Bachelors in Geology at Murray State University, his Masters in Geology at the University of Florida, and his Ph.D in Geological Sciences at the University of Texas in Austin. He was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Auburn University for 3 years before becoming Associate Professor and Department Chair of Environmental Studies at the University of Illinois in Springfield.
Dennis was a vertebrate paleontologist with research interests in the relationship of past climate change and fossil mammal communities. Dennis did field work throughout the United States and abroad. His work is published both in regional journals and international ones (including Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Journal of Human Evolution, and Journal of Paleontology). He enjoyed collecting fossils and stamps and most of all teaching and mentoring students.
He was preceded in death by his father, Dennis Ruez Sr. and his mother-in-law, Patricia Bennett.
Dennis is survived by his wife, Valerie Bennett; mother, Pam Ruez; brother, Paul (Edie) Ruez; sister, Dawn Ruez; and six nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. until the time of the celebration of life at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, October 18, 2019 at Ellinger-Kunz & Park Funeral Home.
The family has asked friends, faculty, and students to say a few words about Dennis during the service.
Memorial contributions may be made to the UIS Ruez Memorial Scholarship Fund University of Illinois Springfield.
To send flowers to Dennis' family, please visit our floral section.