Ernest Ruiz, M.D. | Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel

August 23, 1931 - November 5, 2020

Ernest Ruiz M.D., age 89, of Richfield, was born Aug. 21, 1931, in Los Angeles, CA, and passed away Nov. 5, 2020. Ernest served in the 7th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army during the Korean War and received the Purple Heart due to injuries sustained in the battle of Pork Chop Hill. He went on to become a physician at HCMC and the University of Minnesota receiving numerous awards and honors and becoming a Professor Emeritus. He is preceded in death by parents, James and Frances Ruiz; and siblings, Charles and Sally Ruiz. Survived by his loving wife, Bernice; children, James (Emily) Ruiz, Chris (Jeff Jontz) Ruiz, Sarah (Sergei) Rakhmanov, Anthony (Jill) Ruiz; grandchildren, Anna Rakhmanov, Royal Rakhmanov, Ernest Ruiz and siblings, Richard and Lillian Ruiz.

At this time, no funeral services are scheduled.

Memorials may be directed to the Ernest and Bernice Ruiz Professorship in Emergency Medicine at the University of MN Foundation.


  1. Dennis Reynolds says:

    While raising my five children in Richfield, years ago, I played Senior Men’s Hockey at the Richfield Arena. We even played a game against the then Minnesota North Stars. Ernie was the head of HCMC Emergency Services at the time. He was one of the finest gentleman and caring individuals I have ever known. First class all the way.

  2. Thomas P Cairns says:

    So sorry to hear this news. Ernie taught several courses I took as a physician. But I used to work with Bernie at Fairview OR in the mid-60’s while I was a Medical Student as well and Ernie was there from time to time. Peace and comfort to Bernie and the family.

  3. Jean Iwen says:

    I was a physical therapist at HCMC and interacted with Dr. Ruiz in the burn unit. I recall him to be kind to patients, very professional, and appreciative of the staff. Truely a life well lived.

  4. Gary Fifield says:

    Bernie, Kelli and I send our deepest condolences. Ernie was a mentor and a wonderful friend. And of course an amazing leader who all of us lucky enough to work with him valued highly.

  5. Kari Lappe says:

    Mark and Kari express our deepest sympathies. Ernie was our mentor and friend and it was an honor to know him. His enormous impact in Emergency Medicine was felt not only in all of Minnesota but Nationally and Internationally as well. May he RIP.

  6. Helen Hansen says:

    Dr. Bob Collier and his wife Helen Hansen are deeply indebted to Ernie is so many ways. It was Ernie who recruited Bob to HCMC to serve on the faculty of the Emergency Medicine program, and he was Bob’s first chief. Ernie had such an innovative and creative brain and spirit, always identifying new technology and devices to improve the practice of Emergency Medicine. In addition, Ernie was a great friend and mentor. He and Bernie have been two of the most gracious and interesting people we have ever known. Ernie showed great support to Bob when he had to retire from Emergency Medicine after 30 years due to Parkinson’s. Ernie is and will always remain a bright light of intelligence, skill, and warmth.

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