John Michael Ruskowski

April 26, 1955 - April 13, 2010

04/26/1955 - 04/13/2010

Past Services

Friday April 16, 2010
3:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Bauknecht-Altmeyer Funeral Home
3900 Central Avenue
Shadyside, OH 43947
Saturday April 17, 2010
Powhatan Cemetery
165 Main Street
Powhatan Point, OH 43942
740-795-5105 Ei | Directions
Saturday April 17, 2010
10:00 am
St. Mary Catholic Church
350 E. 40th Street
Shadyside, OH 43947
740-676-3282 | Directions

John Michael Ruskowski “Big John” 54, of Shadyside, Ohio died Tuesday, April 13, 2010.

He was born April 26, 1955 in Martins Ferry, OH, a son of Joseph Ruskowski and the late Josephine Bumbico Ruskowski.

He was a graduate of St. John Central High School, where he made many lifelong friends, and Ohio University. He was an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church Shadyside where he served as a Lector.

He was a 33year employee at Consol Energy, Shoemaker Mine and was working as a Belt Patrolman.

John had a strong passion for sports and was dedicated in coaching his children for many years. He was an enthusiastic New York Yankees and Navy Football fan who enjoyed weight lifting and ballroom dancing.

He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Janice “Janey” Shultz Ruskowski, his father Joseph Ruskowski, a resident of Martins Ferry, OH, a daughter, Rebecca “Becky” Travis Dunn of Mebane, NC, three sons; Adam Ruskowski of Brandon, FL, Johnny Ruskowski and Patrick Ruskowski both of the home, a brother Frank Ruskowski Mike Snodgrass of Malaga, OH, his Father and Mother-in law George and Elizabeth Cieszeski Shultz of Shadyside, OH.

Family and friends will be received Friday 3p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Bauknecht-Altmeyer Funeral Homes and Crematory 3900 Central Avenue Shadyside, Ohio.
Funeral Liturgy with Mass 10a.m. Saturday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church Shadyside, OH, with Fr. Samuel Saprano as Celebrant.

Interment is Powhatan Cemetery Powhatan Point, OH.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary’s Catholic Church Or The Ronald McDonald House Morgantown, WV.

Vigil service 3:30p.m. Friday in the funeral home.

Condolences may be expressed to the family at

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Matt Nardo
8 years ago

Adam and the Ruskowski Family,

I am so sorry for your loss. Coach Ruskowski will always be a part of all of us who had the chance to play for him and get to know him. My deepest sympathies.


Tiffany Demchak Zeakes
8 years ago

Adam and the Ruskowski family,

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Linda Lawrence
8 years ago

Dear Becky, Adam, and Johnny,

I was so sorry to hear of your Dad’s death. It is certainly a loss to the SJC family. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.


Mrs. Lawrence

Mary Ryncarz
8 years ago

Dear Janey and Family,

We are so very sorry for your loss. Having a loved one taken at any time is never easy. Keeping all of your family in our prayers. We will surely miss him at St. Mary’s. He was always there to lend a hand. God Bless John. Richard and Mary Ryncarz

Mary McCardel
8 years ago

Dear Janey and family, God bless you. You are in my prayers.

Roxane Starkey
8 years ago

Dear Ruskowski Family,

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this time of great loss.

Jan and Rusty Grubler
8 years ago

Frank – we were very sorry to hear about the death of your brother. Know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family during this difficult time.

Terri Rico Macri
8 years ago

Frank and family,

So sorry to hear about your brother. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Austin remembers him from football.

Terri, Mark, Austin, Audra and Alexa Macri

Rita Gallo
8 years ago

Frank, Accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your brother, John. May he rest in peace.

God bless you and John’s family.

Ralphcleaning team Sears
8 years ago

Frank, Sorry to hear about your brother. You have my condolences.

Chris and Kelli Saksa
8 years ago

He was a leader, coach, and teacher who helped shape many player’s outlook on life and character. Godspeed Coach John.

Kate Curran Ross
8 years ago

I am so sorry for your loss. I will keep all of you in my prayers. God bless John. He was a wonderful man. I especially remember how he treated his children, so loving and kind. Rest in peace John.

Terry Moose Elwood
8 years ago

I am so very sorry that you & your family have sufferd such a great loss.I retired last summer from Shoemaker & new John. He was a great person & will be sadly missed Family friends & co-workers. Terry Elwood

8 years ago


Grant Fletcher
8 years ago

I worked with John at WTRF years ago…a big man with a bigger heart. The world has lost one of the good guys…RIP Johnski.

helenBURCH cecil
8 years ago

i’m very sorry to hear of john’s death ,my thought’s &prayer’s go out to his family ,i graduated w/ john at st.john’s central high school year 1970 please accept my sympthy god bless john ,he’s w/the angels in heaven .thank you helenBURCHCECIL please e-mail me at times thank you!

Kirt Whiteside
8 years ago


I still kept track of John through friends in Bellaire through all these years. I was John’s college roommate at Capital University. What a guy, one gentle, kind hearted giant. Funny he was interested in dancing. We both being ‘big’ guys, I vividly remember us locking the door in our dorm room and practicing our dancing moves in front of a mirror. John Travolta NEITHER of us were We then would order pizza and dance some more. I’m SO glad there were no spy cameras around then or I for sure would have made some money on filming HIM! : He brought a lot of fun to my life. I loved his personality, his chuckle and WHOA his love of those Yankees…that about drove me crazy! Though we only rarely kept in touch it seemed like when we did such little time had passed. I cannot wait to get to heaven to see him once again! Maybe the Lord will have him dancing better than when we were trying to perfect it WAY back when!

I’m a better man today because of him! Great – fact is – absolutely wonderful guy!

Michelle Scott
8 years ago

Janey and family, I have known John since he was a very young boy. I will miss his gigantic smile and his gentle ways. I will always have very fond memories of John. Seeing him play football in our side yard in Bull Town to dancing with him at Zachs wedding. He will always be in my thoughts and prayers. Our love to you Janey and your children, you are in our prayers today and always. Love, Michelle and Bill Scott

Stewart Family
8 years ago

Janey and kids, Our hearts go out to you. God must have needed him to coach his team of angels. He is where he can watch over all of you.

Susan & Dave & Family

Joe and Lisa
8 years ago

Janey and kids, you’ve been continuously in our thoughts and prayers. When I think of your family I think of how special you always make the boys feel when they spend time at your house. What stories they tell! Funny and heartwarming always! We are praying for all of you.

8 years ago

Janey, Beck, Adam, Johnny, Patrick, just wanted to let you know that I’m thinking of you.

Dave & Rita
8 years ago

Janey, Becky, Adam, Johnny, Patrick & Joe,

Our thoughts and prayers are with you. John was a great guy, very thoughtful and compassionate.

Please let us know if there is anything we can do…

8 years ago

Janey, you have my condolences for you and your family. Please let us know if you need anything.

Jim Kapolka
8 years ago

Janie and Family,

My deepest sympathy. John was a great guy.

Cindy Rusmisel
8 years ago

Janie, John and Patrick, Nic and I are so sorry for your loss. I was at work and something told me to look up the Wheeling News online, we were devastated. Nic has been trying to get ahold of John for a while someone had stolen his cell phone. Know that we are praying for you guys and we send our love. If there is anything we can do please don’t hesitate. If you just need to get away, you are welcome here.

Gino Delbert
8 years ago

John – excellent coal miner, excellent weightlifter, excellent person.

8 years ago

May God give you the strength to take you thru this horrible journey and give you the peace and stength to guide you thru the coming days.

Love, The Kiedaisch Family

Mr. & Mrs. DiOrio
8 years ago

Mrs. DiOrio and I are attending an alum wedding out of town. We were sadden to hear about the tragic loss of Mr Ruskowski. We are also sorry that we could not visit with you at this time.Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Cristen Bevilacqua
8 years ago

My deepest condolences to everyone in the family… words cannot express my sympathy. My fondest memories of Uncle John are at our wedding- he was so jovial and I remember him jumping on Zach’s back and singing “I’ve Got Friends in Low Places” with all the guys. Everyone is in my thoughts and prayers.

Love, Cristen, Brianna & Brandon

Steve Ishmael
8 years ago

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this troubled time in your lives. I was just thinking about coach the other day while telling a story about motivating speeches. He was a good teacher and coach, he will be missed.

Denise Neavin
8 years ago

Not only are you great neighbors but friends too. I love to hear the stories of the guys growing up in Bull Town. We will all miss Jon, an all around great guy. Dave and I are here for all of you and will continue to pray. I speak for the whole neighborhood if you need ANYTHING just go out on the back porch and yell. We will be there. Our hearts ache for all of you.

Dave , Denise , David, Sarah Neavin

Bob & Esther Hall
8 years ago

Our deepest sympathy goes out to you all. So terrible this had to happen. Hopefully you will be strong to cary on. You know you have to be. Bob & Esther Hall

Michael and Susan Whitlatch
8 years ago

Our thoughts are prayers are with each of you. I worked with John different times and he was such a wonderful person. He will be thought of and missed everyday.

Michael and Susan

Chuck and Lois Klug
8 years ago

Ruskowski family,

We are so sorrow to hear of the loss of your husband/father. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of you.

Chuck, Lois, Zach, Casey, and Karly Klug

Marsha Whillock and Family
8 years ago

Such a huge loss to your family. Know that we are thinking of you and pray that time will heal the pain. The memories will stay with you forever. Please stay strong and know that God is watching over John.

Judy Rickus LaTour
8 years ago

There really are no words that can touch the magnitude of what you are experiencing at this time. I met John in the first grade at St. Mary School in Martins Ferry and we were in classes together for 9 years. He was always a thoughtful and kind man.

Eric Wood SJC 1991
8 years ago

Thoughts and prayers out to the family of Coach John Ruskowski. Sorry to hear of the sad news.

John Benedetta
8 years ago

To Janey and family,

It is with great sadness to hear of Big John’s passing. He was always a class act and very proud that he was part of the Class of 73.

May God bless you and your family during this time. My prayer and thoughts are with you.

bob ney
8 years ago

To Janey and Family,

I was so sorry to hear about the passing of John. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of great loss.

God Bless,

Bob Ney and Family

Brent & Sherri Bennett
8 years ago

To Patrick: We are so sorry that this has happened to you and your family.Keep him in your thoughts.Take Care.Do everything he wanted you to do in life..From Victoria Donbeck’s Parents….

Jim and Barbara DeNoble
8 years ago

To the family,

We didn’t know your husband and father, but our friend Steve Balint worked with John for years. He said John was a good, gentle man who always thought of others’ needs. A good Christian man. He couldn’t say enough about what a fine person he was. We certainly don’t understand why these things happen, but we serve a Savior Who does….our love and prayers are with you all…we remember your family in our little church group here…May God bless and uplift you by His Grace !

Renee Zusack
8 years ago

To the Ruskowksi Family: My thoughts and prayers are with during this time.

T.C. Chappelear
8 years ago

To the Ruskowski family, I feel terrible about your loss. John was a great guy and a great coach – he will be missed.

VFW 4811
8 years ago

To The Ruskowski Family:

The members of VFW Post 4811 Yorkville, Oh express our deepest Sympathies for your loss.

Mark A Armitage


VFW 4811, OH