Ken Ruben passed away on March 12, 2015. Ken was a long time railfan (and bus fan!) and frequent news provider to TrainWeb. As a member of many rail and transit organizations, he was very involved promoting rail and other transit at civic meetings.
In the Jewish Religion it is traditional to not place a marker on the grave at the time of burial, but rather to place and unveil a gravestone about one year after death. A dozen of Ken's friends attended the gravestone unveiling event that was held on Sunday, August 7, 2016. Click here to view photos from that gravestone unveiling event.
Funds had been raised through donations on this web page to cover the cost of a gravestone and for some sort of commemoration of Ken's life and works. Because Ken was a veteran, the Vetarans Administration provided a gravestone at no cost. However, the funds raised were needed to cover the cost of the burial and installation of the gravestone. The donations by all those who helped to cover these costs were greatly appreciated.
CLICK HERE for a slide show of photos related to Ken.
The graveside services were at 10 a.m., Sunday morning at Mt. Olive Cemetery, 7231 E. Slauson Ave., Commerce, CA 90040-3624.
A Tribute to Ken published on The Front Page Online
by Ari L. Noonan, March 12, 2015
He is gone.
A man who never held public office, never was prominent in commerce, never accumulated the most remote form of wealth but rose to the perch of being one of Culver City's best known citizens through sheer will, Ken Ruben died at 10:40 this morning at Los Angeles Community Hospital.
The lifelong bachelor was 72 years old.
Funeral services are scheduled for 10 o'clock on Sunday morning, Mt. Olive Cemetery, City of Commerce, off the Garfield Avenue exit of the Santa Ana Freeway.
When a journalist arrived at the East Side hospital, he was informed that "Mr. Ruben expired 10 minutes ago."
After suffering a disabling stroke on Dec. 30, and lying alone, unnoticed, in his longtime Duquesne Avenue apartment for 2-1/2 days, Mr. Ruben became a tourist as he attempted to recover.
During the past 10 weeks, he has been a patient in 10 different nursing homes or hospitals, three between Sunday evening and Tuesday morning.
An office worker in earlier years, his avocation of avidly pursuing the lore and travel experiences of trains and busses served him magnificently in his retirement years. Wherever he passenger'd by rail or bus wheels throughout California, he encountered friends. These authentic pals, from Sacramento to Los Angeles, joyfully shared their mutual passions and genuinely cared about each other's welfare.
Even though Mr. Ruben's last family member died more than 40 years ago, a tightly knit cordon of friends closely monitored his mostly depressing condition the last 2-1/2 days. Rare was the day he went without a visitor, and perhaps he did not.
In Mr. Ruben's final days, it scarcely mattered. He was comatose for the last week and a half.
An inveterate observer of and participant in community meetings, especially those with transportation themes, hardly any resident was more quickly recognizable.
His 5-foot-2, 210-pound frame was his most familiar asset, garbed as it routinely was in Mr. Ruben's beloved trenchcoat and newsboy cap.
Seldom were he and they separated.
When he removed his cap before stepping to the speaker podium, by his eloquence, rich bank of transportation knowledge and his wave blond hair almost always impressed audience - even those accustomed to his clearly delivered opinions.
Reaction of Kevin Lachoff, chair of the Culver City Chamber of Commerce, was typical of community members this afternoon:
"I am sorry to learn of Ken Ruben's passing."
"He was always a cheerful and reliable attendee at Historical Society meetings and other local functions."
"He never saw me without asking about my family."
A newshound, Mr. Ruben was magisterially informed every day. One of his keepers was a transistor radio. He knew the radio shows and schedules as well as he knew his pals' names.
A borderline natty dresser, he almost always was attired to attend a high-end party or the most casual function.
Unlike some members of his generation, Mr. Ruben was as facile with today's technology as the most awesome teen.
He owned almost one cell phone for every finger. He texted. He sent and received pictures.
Mr. Ruben was a candidate for the best informed of citizens. He was well known in downtown Los Angeles, where he moved comfortably in MTA circles.
He may have been the only Angeleno who knew every bus schedule in Los Angeles the city and the county.
He knew most of the upper tier of MTA-type executives. They knew him. He may have sat in on, and actively participated in, more meetings than any other Southern Californian.
He was not a passive observer, of meetings or of life.