The 2013 Ruritan National President Dennis Clemmer passed away Sunday, Sept. 29 at the University of Virginia Medical Center with his family and close friends by his side. This is the first time in the organization’s history it has faced the death of a sitting national president.
Clemmer resided in Middlebrook, located in Augusta County. He and his wife, Betty Jo, have a daughter, JoAnnaClemmer Nichols; son-in-law, Garrett, and grandson, Alex, who are also members of the Middlebrook Ruritan Club. Clemmer and his wife are members of Redeemer Lutheran Church, also in Middlebrook.
Clemmer was an active member of the Middlebrook Ruritan Club. He has also served on the Woodrow Wilson District Cabinet in many positions, including 2006 District Governor. Clemmer was also an associate member of the Wadlow Gap Ruritan Club in Gate City. In 2008, he was elected to the Ruritan National Board of Directors in Nashville, and served a three-year term. In 2012, he was elected Ruritan National vice president in Raleigh, N.C. Clemmer was a Tom Downing Fellow and had earned Ruritan Forever status.
Arrangements for Clemmer are pending at this time.
2013 National Vice President Elliot Hogge has taken on the role of president, according to the organization’s bylaws. Hogge, of Hayes, in Gloucester County, is a member of the Abingdon club and has served on many levels of the Chesapeake District, including district governor. He was the 2012 president of the Association of Virginia Ruritans, and was a Ruritan National director from 2003 to 2005. He was elected vice president in Covington, Ky. in January of this year. Hogge served at the Naval Weapons Station from 1966 to 2005. During this time he was awarded the Navy Superior Civilian Medal for Valor. From 1968 to 1970 he served the U.S. Army in Vietnam, and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.
Ruritan National is a civic service organization with 29,000 members in 25 states. Ruritan Clubs in the Pulaski area, all in the New River District, include Draper Ruritan Club, Dublin-Radford Ruritan Club, Ruritan Road Ruritan Club, Snowville Ruritan Club, Piney Ruritan Club, Pioneer Ruritan Club, and Wytheville Ruritan Club. The New River District has a total of 30 clubs, including those in Bland, Carroll, Grayson, Giles, and Montgomery counties. The National Office of Ruritan was moved to Pulaski County from the Suffolk area in the 1960s. Ruritan is the only national civic organization with headquarters in the state of Virginia.
The Ruritan National office, located in Dublin, employs eight staff members under the direction of Executive Director Michael T. Chrisley.