Cornelius William Ruth

January 20, 1937 ~ January 8, 2024 (age 86) 86 Years Old

Cornelius Ruth Obituary

Cornelius Williams Ruth III, fondly known as Bill, was born on January 20, 1937, in Brownsville, Texas, and was a proud native of La Feria, Texas. He peacefully passed away on January 8, 2024, leaving behind a legacy of accomplishments and a lifetime of service.

Bill graduated from La Feria High School in 1955, and his academic journey continued at Texas Tech University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering in 1959. Born to C.W. (Nick) Ruth III and Katherine Ruth of La Feria, Texas, Bill's early years were shaped by a strong foundation and supportive family.

Throughout much of his career, Bill dedicated his professional life to the International Boundary and Water Commission, a US Federal agency responsible for managing boundary and water rights between the United States and Mexico. His notable achievements included overseeing various flood control projects, managing the Amistad and Falcon International storage dams and hydroelectric power plants, and contributing to the development of international wastewater treatment plants.

In 1995, Bill received the prestigious Bronze Medal for Commendable Service from the US Environmental Protection Agency. This recognition was bestowed upon him for his exceptional contributions to the planning, design, and construction of the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant.

In November 2002, President Bush appointed him as the Chairman and United States Representative of the Rio Grande Compact Commission. This role involved the accounting and distribution of waters from the Rio Grande River among the states of Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. Later, in November 2008, President George W. Bush appointed him as the US Commissioner of the International Boundary and Water Commission.

Bill was a member of the Salado Lions Club and Salado Masonic Lodge.

He also was a member of the 3C Cowboy Church.

Bill is survived by his wife of 66 years, Loretta Ruth, residing in Georgetown, Texas. His proudest achievement was a loving legacy through his family: daughter Kay Matthews and David Matthews of Salado, grandchildren Kathy and Buddy Tautenhahn of Salado, Texas, Melissa and Christopher Bahnmiller of Frisco, Texas; Lori and Michael Bianchi of Cumberland, Maine, and David and Chelsea Matthews of Salado, Texas; daughter Susan Howze and Bob Howze of Port Aransas, Texas, and son David Ruth and Christine Ruth of Round Rock, TX, grandchildren Jack Ruth of Kyle, Texas and Cameron Ruth of Round Rock, Texas. His memory will also be cherished by his 9 great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making donations to the Salado Lions Club, an organization that held a special place in Bill's heart. This gesture honors his spirit of community service and reflects his commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of others. Donations can be made by going to 

Bill Ruth's remarkable journey, filled with professional accomplishments and unwavering commitment to family, will be remembered with gratitude and respect by all those who had the privilege of knowing him.

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