Robert F. Ruggles, 91, a retired communications consultant, died on Jan. 29, 2020. Born Oct. 22, 1928, in Cambridge, he was a son of the late Ralph H. Ruggles, M.D. and the late Helen (Damon) Ruggles and the brother of the late Richard D. Ruggles.
He is survived by his sister-in-law Nancy Ruggles of Easton; two nieces, Robin Kallfelz and her husband Rory of Easton and Rosemary “Mimi” Ruggles of Jacksonville, Florida, and their children: Alexandra, Hayley, Merric and Paige; and his dear friend and caregiver, Joanne Azeredo.
A 1946 graduate of Milton High School, he studied English and pre-med at Tufts University in Medford. He graduated in 1950 and received a bachelor of arts/liberal arts degree.
He then enrolled in Boston University’s College of Communication master’s program, graduating with honors in 1954 and receiving a master of arts/communications degree. He received additional education by attending the Episcopal Divinity School of Continuing Education in Cambridge and the Master of Divinity program at Andover Newton School of Theology in Newton.
Bob’s career in communications began in 1959 when he was hired as an account executive for WJAR TV-10 in Providence, Rhode Island, where he worked closely for 10 years with agency account supervisors in developing effective TV ad sales campaigns.
In 1969, he became an account executive at WLNE TV-6 in New Bedford/Providence, where he translated client marketing needs into TV ad campaigns, created and sold TV commercials using the latest electronic production techniques, and established cost-efficient rate cards correlated to current day-part time segment audience ratings.
In 1973, Bob accepted a corporate executive position with Henry Gorman & Sons, Inc., a Providence, R. I., manufacturer of fine gold and silver jewelry. As the company’s vice president, he developed and implemented new and innovative marketing campaigns, and having direct hands-on control of company operations, he reorganized sales positions with catalogs, mail-order houses, and wholesale accounts.
From 1976 to 1988, working for Spire Productions Ltd. in Providence, he was a public relations consultant to the National Education Association of Rhode Island and a media manager for gubernatorial, lieutenant governor, and general treasurer campaigns. He also provided public relations and marketing expertise to a stock brokerage firm.
Working as a regional sales manager for Total Communications, Inc. of Hopkinton from 1986 to 1988, Bob was responsible for opening a corporate sales account with a leading Massachusetts audio/video production company and for the establishment of a regional sales office for Southeastern NE for Total Communications.
In 1989, Bob became an administrative assistant in the General Treasurer’s Office of the State of Rhode Island. During his five-year tenure in the Treasurer’s Office, he provided assistance with the research and development of public policy and programs, the monitoring of legislative proposals, and the preparation of opposition research reports and candidate briefings in the planning and coordinating of the Northeast Treasurer’s Conference, College Bond, and High School Business Award Programs. He also authored yearly comprehensive Northern Ireland and South African reports on divestment and conformance policies.
After leaving the Treasurer’s Office in 1994, Bob served as a communications consultant for the “Rhode Island’s Child” television series on higher education; as the campaign manager for Leonard for Secretary of State, the incumbent Rhode Island secretary of state, and as a consultant for Sen. John Feroce for lieutenant governor campaign.
He was a member of the Advertising Club of Rhode Island, the Providence Preservation Society, the Public Relations Society of America, the Rhode Island Civic Chorale, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and Trinity Repertory Company.
As a member of St. Matthew’s Church in Barrington, R.I., he served on the Church Vestry and was a member of the Rhode Island Episcopal Diocese Film Committee. He was a former member of the board of directors for and past president of the Broadway Theatre League, a non-profit presenter of New York national touring Broadway productions, where he helped establish the Rhode Island Scholarship Program at the Yale School of Drama. He was also a member of the board of directors for the Holiday Festival.
His funeral service was held at Carpenter-Jenks Funeral Home in West Warwick, R.I. A graveside service was held in Milton Cemetery. Condolences may be offered and remembrances shared online at www.carpenterjenks.com.