Sunday, November 29, 2015

Robert Ruden: The Real Big Lebowski

Robert L. Ruden, 69, Topeka, died Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, at Midland Hospice House, Topeka. Robert was born Dec. 3, 1945, in Los Angeles, CA, the son of Julian and Frances (Grinstein) Ruden. He attended Chadwick School and graduated from Beverly Hills High School. He earned a degree from Stanford University. He ran a paint company in Los Angeles. He came to Topeka in the 1980s to get help from the Menninger Clinic, liked Topeka and stayed. He opened a surgery center and later sold insurance. He was founder of the Smith Ruden Foundation. Robert was a genuine character, known for his wit, humor and outgoing personality. He was an advocate of Dr. Karl Menninger and the Menninger Clinic. He promoted the legalization of marijuana and was proud of his Jewish heritage. He collected model Lionel trains, followed the stock market, talked with friends and watched movies, perhaps his favorite was the Big Lebowski. He lived in downtown Topeka for many years. Robert and his first wife Anita were married in the 1980s, had a daughter, Mallory, and lived in Topeka. They later divorced. He was married to Cassandra Smith, they lived in Topeka but later separated. Survivors include his father and step-mother, Julian and Alma Ruden, Los Angeles; grandson, Tyler; brother, Josh Ruden; and significant other, Darla Hernandez, Topeka, and Darla s son Zachary Hernandez. Robert was preceded in death by his mother, Frances, and daughter, Mallory. Graveside services will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, at Mount Hope Cemetery, Topeka. Penwell-Gabel Mid-Town Chapel is in charge of arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made to Midland Care, The Villages or the Menninger Clinic. 

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