Former Winfield Township Administrator Remembers Taxpayer Money as a Good Steward
Former Winfield Township Trustee Gerald E. “Jerry” Ruzicka, who died at the age of 81, is known to have looked after the interests of taxpayers. The death of the longtime Warrenville resident on Oct. 11 was heart-related, according to family members.
Ruzicka succeeded his father, Ed Ruzicka, as administrator of the Township of Winfield in 1994. He will hold the position for 23 years until the spring of 2017.
“I can’t say enough good things about Jerry. He was a good guy,” said Mark Malay, Winfield Township Evaluator. “He was very conservative and really cared about the taxpayer.”
Ruzicka was also known to have worked in the family business, Ruzicka Drugs, in a variety of capacities, from stuffing newspapers to serving clients as an apprentice pharmacist. The downtown Warrenville store was a staple from 1945 to 1981.
Ruzicka was also a 1st lieutenant in the air force. He then worked in sales for Towne-Paulson Pharmaceutical Co. and Posner Medical Co. and as vice president of Medicare Equipment Services.
But according to one of Ruzicka’s three daughters, Thia Tollas, he lived for sports and “baseball was his passion”.
Tollas said his father excelled as a local baseball player in his youth and was a lifelong Cubs fan. Ruzicka has also coached women’s softball for many years.
“Since he had three daughters, it had to be softball,” Tollas said. “If I gave him the name of a girl he trained in Warrenville, he could probably tell me if she punched with her right or left hand, what position she was playing, what were her strengths – he could remember all of these things. “
In his later years, Ruzicka was a regular player in the Naperville Senior Softball League. In retirement, Ruzicka also worked as a bailiff for the Kane County Cougars.
Ruzicka is survived by his wife, Cynthia Gould Ruzicka, three daughters and eight grandchildren. Two sisters and a brother also survive him.
Ruzicka was predeceased by his parents and a brother, Richard Ruzicka, of St. Petersburg, Florida.
The family holds a memorial service.
“He loved his family and he was an amazing and amazing person,” Tollas said. “He will be sorely missed.”