Incarnate Word remembers fallen student

By Sophia A. Rodriguez


Jose Ruiz III, a student at the University of the Incarnate Word, leaves behind wonderful memories and an irrepressible spirit that continues, friends said.

Ruiz, 23, died Sept. 17 when he fell from a third-floor balcony railing at an apartment in The Mansions at Canyon Springs on Wilderness Oak off U.S. 281 north of town, authorities said.

According to a report, Ruiz reportedly had been drinking around 6:30 p.m. A friend asked him to come back over the railing onto the balcony but Ruiz slipped and fell to the concrete below, officials said. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

A native of San Antonio, Ruiz was remembered fondly by those who attended the Mass of the Resurrection for him Friday morning, Sept. 27, at Our Lady’s Chapel.

A 2008 graduate of John Marshall High School, Ruiz was working on his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing.

Friends said Ruiz was known as a very social individual who enjoyed connecting with people, oftentimes introducing himself to people he didn’t know on campus, offering his friendship. He had recently accepted a bid to Kappa Sigma Fraternity. Many said Ruiz lived a life of excitement and adventure.

Alex Hoyl, a UIW sophomore studying sports management, said he considered Ruiz a best friend. The two met in a math class last year and developed an immediate friendship, Hoyl said, describing Ruiz as determined and fun-loving. They played basketball at the Wellness Center where Ruiz also was known to enjoy working out and making people laugh, he said.

“I’m trying not to dwell on the time I won’t get to spend with Jose, but rather be thankful for the memories and good times we got to spend together,” Hoyl said.

Engineering management sophomore Andrew Grossman said he also remembers Ruiz fondly after meeting him early last spring.

“We were playing basketball in the gym late at night and we needed another player but there was only Jose in cowboy boots and pants, but he still played running funny and clunking around in his boots,” Grossman said. “It was pretty funny to watch.”

The Sunday before Ruiz died, Grossman said, the two had been to church.

“To share that last Sunday with him was very special because we both spent it growing our faith as friends and in the end our faith is all we take with us once we pass, so I feel honored and blessed that I got to share the experience with Jose,” Grossman said.

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