Memorial services will be held Friday for Christopher and John Ruckman. The young brothers were shot to death in their Rockford-area home last week.
Their father, Rock Valley College Prof. P.S. Ruckman, also was found dead in the home they shared in unincorporated Winnebago County. Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz says they each died from a single gunshot to the head, and the father’s wound appeared to be self-inflicted.
The three were found in their bedrooms Saturday morning by police officers who had been asked to check on them by the boys’ mother, who shared custody after she and Ruckman divorced last year. Heidi Ruckman was concerned because she had not been able to reach her sons.
Christopher, 14, and John, 12, were students at Rockford Christian. School officials report the two had not shown up for class Thursday and Friday. The two were known to schoolmates as Chris and Jack – they were musically talented and played together in a band they called “The Vitamin Gang.”
The bodies were found Saturday, but county officials have declined to say when they died. An obituary for the brothers submitted by their family says they died Wednesday, Feb. 28.
Visitation for Chris and Jack Ruckman is Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Rockford. A memorial service will be held at the church at 1 p.m. Friday. Burial will be private in Elmwood Cemetery in Sycamore. The family is establishing a scholarship in their memory to benefit musicians at Rockford Christian High School.