In memory of
Thomas F. Rugh
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In memory of
Thomas F. Rugh
1951 ~ 2016 Thomas Frederick Rugh died at home Oct. 14, 2016 after a five-year battle with neuroendocrine cancer in the liver. Tom was born in Pasadena, California on April 2, 1951 to Jack Leighton Rugh and Elizabeth Sixt Rugh. He joined the Mormon church in 1968 and subsequently served an honorable mission in upstate New York. Tom courted Susan Sessions while attending Brigham Young University. They were married in the Oakland, California temple on June 29, 1974. Tom earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Humanities at BYU before pursuing graduate study in art history at the University of Chicago. In 1985 Tom took a position with TIAA-CREF to serve the educational and cultural institutions of the upper Midwest. They raised their family of three sons in Chicago and Minnesota. The family moved to Utah in 1997 when Susan took became a professor of history at BYU. Tom joined Zion's Bank as Senior Vice President in charge of their retirement plans. In 2003 he was appointed founding director of the Museum of Utah Art and History in Salt Lake City. He rejoined TIAA in 2005 as Director, Institutional Relationships, serving the University of Utah and universities nationwide. He was known in the company for his sincere interest in others and building relationships that served the common good. Tom's interest in the arts benefitted the community beyond his museum directorship. He taught students in the Honors Program at the University of Utah and in museum studies at Brigham Young University. He was a member of the Museum of Art Advisory Board at BYU, and he served a seven-year term on the Fine Arts Advisory Board of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Utah. He loved to interview students for art scholarships and was instrumental in raising funds for a new student art gallery. He generously endowed a scholarship for art students at the University of Utah. Tom was a faithful member of the LDS church. He served as branch president and bishop of the Hyde Park Ward in the Chicago Heights Stake (1984-1990), one of the first wards in the church to reach out to people of all races after the 1978 revelation. He has served in many leadership capacities but his favorite callings were opportunities to teach. He believed in doing good in the world and in loving all people. He formed close friendships through his many passions, from running and mountain biking to visiting art museums. He was a good neighbor and created lasting relationships with young and old. Tom is survived by his wife, Susan Sessions Rugh, sons Jeffrey Leighton Rugh (Jaime), Jacob Sterling Rugh (Kathleen), Peter Sessions Rugh (Bethea) and ten grandchildren: Charlotte, Max, Elizabeth, Jade, David, Benjamin, Thomas, Royal, Archer and Bridget Rose. He is survived by his two sisters: Barbara Robeson (Danville, California) and Jacqueline Farewell (San Gabriel, California). Funeral services will be held Friday, October 21, 2016 at the Salt Lake 20th Ward, 2nd Ave and G Street, at 11:00 AM. A visitation will be held from 6-8 PM the night before at Larkin Mortuary, 260 E. South Temple. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Thomas F. and Susan S. Rugh Endowed Scholarship Fund, College of Fine Arts, University of Utah.
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