Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Sean Michael Ruane, Captain USAF (Fallen)October 11, 1982 – January 07, 2014
CAPTAIN SEAN MICHAEL RUANE
Age 31, a highly decorated combat veteran, from Kennedy Township, gave full measure of devotion in service to his country on Jan. 7, 2014, while instructing the next group of U.S. Air Force Helicopter Aircrew about how to conduct the mission he loved with such passion, the mission of Combat Search and Rescue, and ultimately demonstrating the Air Force Rescue motto…”these things we do, so that others may live.”
He was born on October 11, 1982, in Pittsburgh. He was the beloved husband of Rachel (Roderer) Ruane; cherished son of Michael and Marcia (Boronsky) Ruane; proud father of Liam; loving brother of Caitlin; maternal grandmother, Dolores Boronsky; also loved by many extended relatives along with devoted friends.
Sean graduated in 2000 from Montour High School and in 2005 from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, studying International Relations and Research Meteorology. Upon graduation, he entered the U.S. Air Force active duty and began undergraduate pilot training. Sean first mastered the UH-1H Huey helicopter, earning his pilot wings in 2007, and officially became a U.S. Air Force Pilot. Enrolling in the 512th Rescue Squadron’s HH-60G training class, he learned the HH-60G Pavehawk helicopter and tactics that would enable him to save lives in combat as part of the 41st Rescue Squadron.
He was deployed four times to the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, he quickly advanced to Aircraft Commander and then on to HH-60G Flight Lead. He was then selected to become an HH-60G Instructor Pilot, and teach others the mission of Combat Rescue. Joining the 56th Rescue Squadron in England, he further advanced as an Evaluator Pilot, and was subsequently selected as the squadron’s Chief of Standardization and Evaluation section, ensuring the aircrew within the squadron upheld the highest professional and aviation standards. He was again deployed to Afghanistan in summer of 2013 as the Flight Lead of a formation of two Pavehawk helicopters and 14 aircrew. He led his formation in combat while deployed and in training while at home, all the while working on a master’s degree in American History. His potential was recognized with his new promotion to Operations Group Executive Officer.
Sean’s major awards and decorations include: 17 Air Medals, a Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, the Air Force Combat Action Medal, two Meritorious Unit Awards, four Outstanding Unit Awards with a Valor device, five Expeditionary Service Ribbons with Gold Border, two Iraq Campaign Medals, two Afghanistan Campaign Medals, and the Small Arms Expert (Rifle) Ribbon.
Due to snow storm along the east coast, visitation Thursday 2-4 p.m. has been cancelled. Visitation will be Thursday 7-9 p.m. and Friday 2-5 and 7-9 p.m. at COPELAND’S MOON TOWNSHIP, 981 Brodhead Rd. (shuttle services will be provided). Procession will leave the funeral home at 9:45 a.m. for service on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at Christ Church at Grove Farm, 249 Duff Rd., Sewickley, PA 15143. Dr. John Guest, celebrant. Burial will be private in Resurrection Cemetery with full military honors. Family suggests donations in Sean’s name be made to the That Other’s May Live Foundation, www. thatothersmaylive.org.
Send condolences at post-gazette.com/gb
Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Jan. 22 to Jan. 23, 2014 – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/postgazette/obituary.aspx?pid=169216907#sthash.xIYm62wt.dpuf
~ GUEST BOOK ~
January 24, 2014My heart is heavy with the loss of a friend and fellow aviator. The void left by Sean’s passing extends through the family and friends left behind, through the entire Rescue, SOF, and indeed military communities. I’ll be wearing a Steeler’s shirt in his honor at work tomorrow. An honor to have served with him. These Things He Did, That Others May Live.~David Nichols, Albuquerque, New Mexico
January 24, 2014My thoughts and prayers are with your family. I did not know your son but from everyone that knew him, he was the best of the best. I am from a military family and have all the respect in the world for our military. Such a loss not only to his family but to our country. God bless you Sean, rest in peace. Jan Thomas, Kennedy Township Police DepartmentJanuary 24, 2014May God bless Sean’s family and send messages of love and peace. Sean touched so many lives with his kindness and love of life. His legacy is one we can all learn from. Rest in peace Sean.~Melissa Teichman and family, Seattle, Washington
January 23, 2014Caitlin, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your brother. My prayers go out to you and your parents and Sean’s wife and his beautiful son. Your brother lived his life the way God intended–by serving others. Let the memories you have be the comfort you need to get through this very difficult time. You are in my thoughts and prayers.~Mrs. Greenaway (your former middle school English teacher)
January 23, 2014I am so sorry for your loss . He is a hero and God bless him and your family.Thank you for your service!~Audra Frank, Stewartsville, New Jersey
January 23, 2014Thank you for your service. My prayers to the family. My your faith carry you through this time.A Marine Mom~Julia Spence, Clinton, Pennsylvania
January 23, 2014God bless Racheal and Liam and the rest of the Ruane family. so so sorry for your loss. you are in my thoughts and prayers. Give u strength to be strong! I love u with love cousin Dana~Dana (Citro) Morganti, lyndhurst, New Jersey
January 23, 2014TO SEAN’S FAMILYMY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS OUT WITH YOU IN YOUR TIME OF SORROW. WE WILL ALWAYS BE GREATFUL TO HIM FOR PROTECTING OUR FREEDOM. MAY HE REST IN PEACE AND MY GOD BLESS YOU
January 23, 2014I would like to express my condolences to the Ruane family. I knew Sean when he was in the Montour band with my son Jonathan, Montour class of 2001, and I was in the band parents. Unfortunately I will not be able to be in Pittsburgh to pay respects to Sean as I am at Fort Campbell seeing Jonathan, who is in the US Army, and his family.~John Ferguson, Ingram, Pennsylvania
January 23, 2014Thank you, Captain Ruane. May God bless you and your family.
January 23, 2014Thank you for your devotion to keeping us safe. You gave your all for us and I hope to be along the route you will take to your final rest. May God bless and keep your soul forever.~Maria Reese, coraopolis, Pennsylvania
January 23, 2014Sorry for the loss to the family and friends of Capt. Sean Ruane. He died serving his country and doing his duty. I went to Montour, but did not know him. I salute you and may he rest in peace.~Matt W, Robinson Township, Pennsylvania
January 23, 2014I didn’t know your son, but I am proud what he has done for all of us in this Country!!!! God Bless, you will see him again!!! RIP Captain Sean~Tammy Sanders, Emlenton, Pennsylvania
January 23, 2014Thank you for your services for our great nation. May you rest in peace.~January 23, 2014
My family and I express our heartfelt appreciation and thanks for your courageous serving of our country. You are the meaning of ‘hero’.~Susan Mohrbacher
January 23, 2014Our heart goes out to this wonderful family in the loss of their beloved Sean. Thank you Sean for serving our country and for being so brave. May God and his angels keep you safe now in their arms. ..You will forever be remembered in my prayers.~Bill and Bobbie Casper G.P.A.C.
January 23, 2014We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Our thoughts are with you. May he rest in peace.~Manslow’s, Robinson Township, Pennsylvania
January 23, 2014I want to thank your husband/son/father for protecting us from evil – I pray for you and your family, and I know God will take care of him. Sean will always watch over you and protect you as he always did before. I pray that you find comfort in his memory, and I promise you, there will come a time when your tears will be replaced with smiles when you think of him~A stranger who cares
January 23, 2014“Those whom we love and lose are no longer where they were before. They are now wherever we shall be.” May time heal your pain until all that remains are the beauty of the memories and the love, always the love. Rest in peace beloved hero. Kathy, Ryan and Holly Holly~Kathleen Hopay
January 23, 2014I am so sorry for your loss but I believe there is a special place in heaven for our fallen heroes. Please accept my thanks for your sacrifice.~Jean, Kennedy Twp, Pennsylvania
January 23, 2014Our deepest sympathy to the Ruane family. What an amazing young man. God bless you.~Ken and Evelyn McClain, Kennedy Township, Pennsylvania
January 23, 2014Sean was my beloved friend. I have a very heavy heart. He was a high school classmate of my son who is also a member of the Air Force. Sean was a very sincere and wonderful person. I loved his smile. May God always keep Sean in his arms and bless him. Sean is my American Hero! May God Bless and share his love and compassion for all of Sean’s family.With deepest sympathy,~Fred Kauffmann, Montour High School Guidance Counselor (Retired)
January 22, 2014Such an incredible person who will be sorely missed, Sean was second to none. We are all blessed for the time we had with him and for the lasting impressions he left in our lives and in our hearts. His smile will truly never be forgotten.~Katie, Pennsylvania
January 22, 2014You have my sympathies…I couldn’t imagine~
January 22, 2014A true military hero, my condolences to his family, God Bless his family and friends and give them strength, we are thinking of you and your family Mike and Marsha. Love, Greg Allen and Anna Dracar~Greg Allen, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
January 22, 2014I want to offer my deepest sympathy to the Ruane family. We didn’t know Sean but want to thank him and his family for the greatest gift we have, our freedom. Sean gave his life serving his country. God bless you all and know your loved one won’t be forgotten. He is a true hero!~The Lemley Family
January 22, 2014Marcia, I worked with you many years ago. I’m so sorry for your loss. I remember when Sean was born and can’t imagine the agony of losing a child. I am praying for you and your family.~Nancy Glavin
January 22, 2014RIP Captain Ruane , Thank You for your service. The McGrady’s Collier Twp. Pa.January 22, 2014~Pat & April Dorrenbacher, McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania
January 22, 2014I didn’t know Sean, but my husband did and greatly respected him. You are forever in my prayers.~Nadia Morgan, RAF Lakenheath
January 22, 2014Rest in Peace Sean, you will be greatly missed. Thinking of the Ruane family during this time of sorrow. God Bless.~Athens & Christopher Pellegrino, RAF Lakenheath, England
January 22, 2014God keep him safe until you meet in Heaven. Thank you for his service to God and Country.
January 22, 2014The Ruane FamilyMy deepest sympathy to you on the loss of your husband and son. He was truly a hero, I am so grateful for his service to our country. May the Lord comfort in your time of sorrow. You are in my prayers. God Bless.~Marsha Kosh, Ft. Myers, Florida
January 22, 2014We remember Sean as a young child when we lived in Kennedy Township. Jimmy, my son, spent a lot of time playing with Sean. Our family is very saddened by the loss of Sean and send our thoughts and prayers to all of his family and friends.~Avis, Thad, Jimmy, Becky and Kathryn Ritter
January 22, 2014Rest in peace Brother. My prayers go out to your family.~Jeremy Stevens, Indiana, Pennsylvania
January 22, 2014God Bless You, Sean. Rest in Peace.~Monica Phillips, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
January 22, 2014Our deepest sympathy to you and your family~Kevin, Patti, Beau, Brian & Vinnie Castelucci, Robinson Twp., Pennsylvania
January 22, 2014Thoughts and prayers for Sean and his family. He was a good friend with so many at Montour and St. Malachy, including my daughters Laura and Chrissy. As a band parent, remember him always smiling, helping other band members, and having a good time.~Terry Capp, Robinson Township, Pennsylvania
January 22, 2014Our sincere sympathies to Sean’s family and friends. We are deeply sorry for your loss.~Gig & Carol Mundell, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
January 22, 2014May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.~Jon Mosimann, Neville Island, Pennsylvania
January 22, 2014Rest in Peace our HERO. Thank you for your sacrifices and all that you have done! Our deepest sympathy.~Montour Class of 81, Kennedy Twp, Pennsylvania
January 22, 2014I still remember Sean as a cute little boy. I have a heavy heart for his family. He was a friend with my son Joe. We will always remember him, always.~Dwulit’s, Robinson Twp, Pennsylvania
January 22, 2014I did not know Captain Duane but I just wanted to thank his family for his service and sacrifice. God bless you~Renee King,Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
January 22, 2014Thank you for your service. My condolences to your friends and family. Your son has a very special angel to watch over him.~A grateful citizen, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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