Don Ruleaux


Memorial services for 89-year old award-winning artist and instructor Don Ruleaux of Chadron, NE, are Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 10:30 at Chamberlain Chapel in Chadron.

The family invites everyone to join them after the service for a Celebration of Life at the Bean Broker Coffee House and Pub. Refreshments will be served.

Burial will be in the Hay Springs Cemetery in Hay Springs, NE.

Online condolences may be left at

Chamberlain Chapel of Chadron is in charge of arrangements.

Donald D. Ruleaux was born in Martin, SD on June 19, 1931, to a French-Canadian Native American father and an English Mother. He passed away peacefully Nov 25, 2020, at his home with his daughter Mary, son-in-law Duane, and his friend Lynne by his side.

Don spent his early years growing up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, but when he was entering the fourth grade the family moved to Gordon, NE, where he attended school and graduated in 1950.

Don served in the United States Navy and the Army Reserves.

His post-secondary education includes Kansas City Art Institute, a BA in Art Education from Chadron State College, MA in Art Education from Arizona State University, and George Washington University in Washington DC.

His teaching experience spanned several decades and included grade schools, Junior and Senior High Schools and colleges and universities in 8 different communities. Gering, Curtis, McCook, Hastings, and Chadron in Nebraska; Spearfish, Lead, and Vermillion in South Dakota.

Don had several other related work experiences; his favorite was working as an artist/draftsman for the movie Lakota Women, filmed in SD.

His exhibitions and awards number over 100 and are too numerous to mention individually. One the most prestigious was the Nebraska Governors Award of Excellence in Art Education.

In 1953, Don married Betty Lou VanBuskirk of Rushville, NE. To this union they added 6 children. Don and Betty moved back to Chadron in 1999 to retire. They spent their time gardening and enjoyed traveling around the country visiting their children and grandchildren.

Don continued his artwork and did several silverpoint drawings of residents of Chadron which he then gifted to them. Don also did silverpoints of his wife, children, and grandchildren.

Don was preceded in death by Betty, his wife of 60 years, his parents, one brother, six sisters, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. He is survived by his children: Frank (Lisa) Ruleaux, Donald (Ardeia) Ruleaux, Mary (Duane) Hall, Francelia (Larry) Iverson, Beau (Sandy) Ruleaux, and Robert (Kari) Ruleaux; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.