Patrick McKenzie Ruyle


Patrick McKenzie Ruyle, a self-proclaimed “climate alarmist” and climate change advocate, passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 2, in Blue Hill after an unrelenting battle with cancer. Being a blues enthusiast and a dedicated WERU member and volunteer, his last days were spent writing a song for his granddaughter in the blues tradition.

Born in Englewood, Calif., in 1957 and raised in the greater Boston area, Patrick was later accepted by jury and enrolled at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, Mass., in 1978. Throughout his life, Patrick continued to embrace his love for artistry in many forms; many considered him a renaissance man, as he was able to run the gamut of not only trade sets but engage in the world outside his own where he was able to relate to a range of audiences and interests.

After spending summers in Castine in the 1970s, he decided to move his family there in 1990 where he homesteaded, worked as a tradesman and cherished being a good neighbor to the Devereauxs. Prior to being employed by Maine Maritime Academy in 2001, his line of occupation included tree work and orchard management, auto mechanics and masonry, welding and construction, painting and wallpapering, plumbing and electrical; from carpentry to tile work he usually had a tool, new or old, to do the job.

In his nearly 20-year career at MMA, Patrick’s highlight was his involvement with the old observatory, where he worked with colleagues to upgrade the planetarium for students. Upon his unplanned departure from MMA due to his illness, Patrick received a Professor’s Chair, most notably presented to those of esteemed value to the institution.

What he may be best remembered by is his spirited dancing at the blues festivals he regularly attended and the unwavering love he found in the cycles of life, particularly the small wonders of his vernal pools on his property; always revering the reptiles, the turtles, especially the salamanders, that we know he wished to have his granddaughter grow alongside. Patrick often vehemently fought for what he believed in; in his last foray he implored that the environmental and health benefits of the mushroom be adopted worldwide.

Patrick is survived by his mother, Sheila Ruyle; his father, Adrian Ruyle; his son, also Adrian Ruyle, and granddaughter Emilia Ruyle; his uncle Jeffrey Arnold and wife, Carmen; his aunt Leigh Beinen and husband, Henry, and first cousins Laura, Claire and Leslie.

A celebration of life is scheduled for Saturday, May 15, at 4 p.m. until sunset at the Backshore in Castine. In lieu of flowers, Patrick requested in memoriam contributions be made to WERU Community Radio, P.O. Box 170, East Orland, ME 04431 and/or Downeast Salmon Federation, P.O. Box 201, Columbia Falls, ME 04623.

Know when to pay your respects.