Unification News For April 1996


In Memoriam William Joseph Ruiz

William Joseph Ruiz, our dear brother and friend, ascended into the spiritual world on March 25, 1996 in Hyattsville, Maryland. He had been hospitalized for about a month, suffering complications from AIDS. His Seung Hwa Ceremony on March 27 was filled with his family and friends, who paid fitting tribute to this remarkable life which had crossed paths with theirs. Most people will remember Bill for his deep love of God and people and devotion to True Parents; his sense of humor, love of music and art of all kinds, his tenacious spirit and constant drive toward spiritual growth and self-improvement.

Bill Ruiz was born on June 24, 1952 in Ithaca, New York. He joined the Unification Church in 1972 in San Francisco after being witnessed to by Peggy (Warden) Matsuya and Maria (Gill) Brabazon, and joined David Kim's One World Crusade #3 team there. From 1972 until 1979 he traveled around the country on various OWC teams and MFT teams and missions.

Bill left OWP in the spring of 1979 after challenging a white pin, which was an important accomplishment for him. He wrote in a letter at that time, ...we worked so hard together, we laughed and played together, we prayed and cried together. [This] was a message from God to go forward. God spoke to the deepest part of me and said that if only I'd believe it, He would work even through me, if I applied the Principle .... I felt deeply sorry for my faithlessness and promised God that I'd unite no matter what. You know the rest. So many moving things happened and we made it. At first, I wanted to think of those things as miracles, but I think now that they were normal. What's incredible is how we see love and trust and unity as such strange things....

Bill was blessed in the 2,075 Couples blessing at Madison Square Garden on July 1, 1982. He joined Go Tours bus company in New York City in early 1983 when the company was located in the East Sun Building. Jon O'Connor, a co-worker at Go Tours at the time, reflects: "After years on MFT, Bill's sales skills were well honed and his ability to relate to people and accept whatever responsibility was required were a benefit in his new position. The company moved twice during Bill's tenure and on both occasions, Bill was always there to organize the move and to set up the new office. He loved to decorate new environments and set up office systems that helped to make the operations run more smoothly. While Bill spent his years at Go Tours primarily in Charter sales, he was in many ways the glue that held us all together at times. His ability to reach to the heart of people and his willingness to accept more than his share of work did much to enhance the company's image. Even many years later, customers that had dealt with Bill would recall with warmth his open nature and deep heart.

"However, Bill also went through some of his most difficult times while with Go Tours. His difficult childhood often haunted him and he made many efforts during his years in New York to overcome those past painful memories and move forward in his life. In many ways he was successful and certainly made more than a sincere effort to grow during that time. However, New York City is never an easy place to live, and the pace at Go Tours was a stressful one; finally Bill felt the need to move on. He left in 1986. During those first few weeks after he was gone, it was not so much the work load he handled that was difficult to take on, it was the loss of his unique character that was felt by those who remained. Bill was one of those people you don't often have the chance to encounter in life--his deep love of God and of True Parents was an absolute in his life, and while he struggled (as we all do) with the reality of life, he never lost the deeply spiritual nature and sincere love of people that made him one of the most wonderful people I have ever had the good fortune to encounter."

From 1989 to 1991, Bill worked at the World & I magazine as Marketing Coordinator, where he .was remembered as being "a man of bubbling enthusiasm." He was in charge of library .subscription sales and single copy sales. Toward the end of his time there, his heart began to be .pulled in the direction of the flowering of the Russian providence. When the call came for .members to help in Russia, he could no longer resist, for in the deepest part of him was always .the longing to teach Divine Principle and bring True Parents to as many as he could.

Therefore in 1992 Bill spent perhaps the most meaningful and fulfilling time of his life in Russia, .teaching Principle, raising young members, and organizing workshops for educators, which included school teachers, principals and students. While in Russia he became seriously ill with .pneumonia and had to come back to the States. After recovering, he spent time helping out various missions in the Washington area, such as the Washington Times National Weekly .Edition, Original World Projects, the World & I magazine, and the Summit Council for World Peace.

At the same time, he became active with Damien Ministries, a non- profit care-giving association. He helped set up the "Damien House," a federally-subsidized group house that cared for HIV+ and AIDS patients in a comfortable and loving environment. Bill was the first member of the Damien House, and on their Board of Directors. Even while struggling with declining health, his nature was always to reach out to help and minister to others who were suffering more than he was.

During these last years of his life, he was motivated to finally put his introspective thoughts on paper, and wrote a large volume of poetry. One of his most meaningful poems entitled "Testament" was movingly read at his Seung Hwa Ceremony.

His physical body is buried at the Fort Lincoln Cemetery in Brentwood, Maryland, but we know his shining spirit is already engaged in new and exciting missions on behalf of His beloved Heavenly Father and True Parents! May the time pass swiftly, dear brother, until we hear again your deep, booming voice in song and your infectious giggle and lively wit, when you welcome us to the realms of all the saints who have gone on before us!

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