Gregory Stephen Ruddell Sr.
Thursday, June 12, 2014 12:00 AM
McCORMICK -- Greg Ruddell passed away peacefully in his sleep Tuesday morning, June 10, 2014 at his home in McCormick, SC. Family, friends, and colleagues will miss Greg greatly and will remember him as a man full of life. A man filled with laughter, a booming voice, and generous heart, who always loved a good party that ended in cannon fire and fireworks.
Gregory Stephen Ruddell Sr.
Born in Rome, GA, September 10, 1951 to Edward Robert Ruddell and Mary Jo Rogers into a family that always maintained a love of fun and telling stories. Greg continued that legacy by hosting many years of fireworks on Strom Thurmond Lake watched by thousands of people and aptly name “Thunder over Thurmond”. Greg was known far and wide for his generosity and larger than life presence. He had a passion for sea turtles and conserving their natural habitat and created The Catch Conservation www.thecatchconservation.com, which is dedicated to protecting endangered sea turtles and sharks around the world. The Catch Conservation’s mission is to work with local governments and private organizations in developing countries to preserve fragile ecosystems on land as well as at sea. Greg and the people involved with The Catch Conservation believe that the modern world can live and work in harmony with nature so that future generations can enjoy and benefit from all the wonder and beauty our earth provides.
The love of nature and water began at an early age at Blue Ridge Lake in Morganton, GA, where his family had a lake home and Greg spent many hours in the water feeding fish. As a young boy, Greg spent many hours swimming with his little sisters, Wendy and Cindy, and teaching them to play underwater tag. Greg often credited his hard work ethic to his parents and working on the “pig” farm with his father, Edward Ruddell and brothers, Ed and Gary. Rocking R, the name of the pig farm, would become the name of many of his business endeavors and a reminder of this work ethic.
Greg’s long history in the pay-TV industry dates back to 1970, when he worked with a door-to-door sales group and learned to overcome obstacles. This experience eventually transformed into several companies including C.A.O.T.T.I. (Cable and Other Things Too Incorporated) and Rocking “R” one of the largest direct-broadcast satellite companies in the Southeast. These companies were owned by him and his wife, Billie Jett Black Ruddell, and are located in McCormick, S.C. Greg has had a long relationship with many companies including COX systems, ATT, and DISH for many years. This association will continue as his wife, Billie, becomes the spearhead of this company and continues the adventure that they began in 1989.
Greg had a life-long dream to produce movies that promoted the coexistence of man and nature and to display the beautiful world we live in. His love of nature, water, and history led to the creation of Standoff Studios and the production of several movies including The Catch:Costa Rica, a competitive fishing series featured on The Outdoor Channel www.thecatchseries.com., and Mayan Blue a documentary film that explores the history of the Yucatan and surrounding regions through the unique water features that dot their landscapes.
Greg is survived by his wife, Billie Jett Black Ruddell, he affectionately called his “Little Darling; son, Gregory S. Ruddell, Jr. of Ranger, GA; brother, Edward R Ruddell (Joan) of Kennesaw, GA; sisters, Wendy Ruddell Pettett (David) of Acworth, GA, and Cindy Ruddell Corona (Ernie) of Woodstock, GA. Greg was preceded in death by his parents, Ed Ruddell Sr. and Mary Ruddell Coulter, and brother, Gary Ruddell. Greg loved his family and held a special place in his heart for his niece and nephews, many of who worked for Greg in his company and lived at his home. His legacy will continue. In lieu of flowers, please support Greg’s passion with a donation to The Catch Conservation Fund: www.thecatchconservation.com.
A memorial celebration party filled with joy and refreshments will be held in Greg’s honor from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on June 14, 2014 at The Savannah Lakes Resort & Marina Beach House, 101 Village Drive, McCormick, SC, 29835, and 864-391-2152.
Strom Funeral Home is assisting the family.