P rior to the founding of our Firm, Leonard J. Ruck worked for the firms of Snowden & McCasland and the George Ruth Funeral Home located on Harford Avenue, where he began his career as a chauffeur. When he married Margaret L. Finnegan in 1918, he moved with her into her mother and step-father’s home at 6405 Sefton Avenue, located in the Northeast section of Baltimore City. At that time, Harford Road ended at Hamilton Avenue where a “Jerk Water” car occasionally came to take passengers farther north on “The Harford Road”.
After his marriage, he began to serve his apprenticeship with the Ruth Funeral Home and quickly realized that his work would be his life’s calling. In 1924 Leonard J. Ruck completed the necessary requirements for licensure and became a Funeral Director and Embalmer.
That same year, 1924, Leonard J. Ruck opened the first Ruck Funeral Home, in the living room of his Mother and Father-In-Law’s home! As business grew, our founder realized that a larger facility would be needed. He purchased a three story frame and stucco building on the Northwest corner of Harford Road and Echodale Avenue, and moved it across the street! While the original frame and stucco building is gone, we continue to operate from a modern facility at this location that was constructed in 1950 and doubled in size in 1960. In 1963 an office extension and additional parking was added on the side of the original funeral home.
Leonard J. Ruck and his wife Margaret, who also became licensed as a Funeral Director were followed into the profession by their four children: Leonard F. “Fran” Ruck, who died June 25, 1983; Eugene A. “Gene” Ruck, who died August 28, 1964; Margaret M. “Mary” Giordanetti, who died December 14, 1990; and Bernard C. “Bernie” Ruck, who died October 25, 2001. Bernard Ruck served as our President until his retirement on March 31, 1995. Our Founder died February 3, 1962. His wife Margaret died June 11, 1972. Oil portraits of our Founder and his wife are located in the two reception rooms at our Harford Road location.
Michael J. “Mike” Ruck (son of Eugene & Bonney Ruck), a third generation member of the Ruck Family now serves as President of our firms. “Mike” Ruck Jr., (Son of Michael & Wendy Ruck), the fourth generation of the Ruck Family to enter funeral service is Senior Vice-President of our firms.
In July 1974, our area of service was expanded by the purchase of the John J. Duda Funeral Home of Dundalk. Incorporated as Duda-Ruck Funeral Home of Dundalk, Inc., this facility underwent a major expansion and renovation shortly after its purchase.
In November 1978, another opportunity presented itself to our firm and the Wm. Cook-Brooks Funeral Home, Inc. was purchased. Incorporated as Ruck Towson Funeral Home, Inc., this facility underwent major renovations that provided additional visitation facilities, needed redecorating and expanded parking areas.
In 1989, the Ruck family established Hilltop Service Corporation, a state of the art cremation facility. Our commitment to providing meaningful and dignified services and giving you peace of mind is paramount. Our staff supervises and maintains complete control throughout the entire cremation process. We have developed the most rigorous set of operating policies and procedures in order to maximize our level of service.