In Memory

Patricia Patty" Ruggie (Conley)

PATRICIA 'Patty' RUGGIE CONLEY, 53, died Tuesday, July 16, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Patty was born in Cleveland, Ohio on January 1, 1961. She attended Shaker Heights, High School and graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BFA in Journalism and a Senior Honors History Degree from St. Andrews University in Fife, Scotland. Following college, Patty returned to Cleveland and began her career with Standard Oil, now British Petroleum, where she served as member of the senior management team reporting to the President of the Chemical and Industrial Products Division. Her next career move was as a founding executive for the North Coast Harbor Economic Development Project in Cleveland, Ohio that includes the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Great Lakes Science Center. It was here that Patty met her husband, her best friend, and love of her life, Gary N. Conley. Before relocating to Cincinnati in 1995, Patty and Gary lived in Los Angeles, where she worked as the Southern California Business Development and Marketing Director, for the international law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop. Returning to Cincinnati, Patty joined the former Student Loan Funding, the third largest student loan company in the U.S. Her work with Student Loan Funding, led to her role as the founding Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of KnowledgeWorks, a national education foundation. Over her tenure at KnowledgeWorks, the organization achieved an annual operating budget of more than $30MM leveraged through partner-ships with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, State of Ohio, and numerous other funding sources. While at KnowledgeWorks, Patty played an integral role in the organization's strategic and operating plans as well as being instrumental in the development and management of several national subsidiaries; including Strive, New Tech Network, EdWorks, Education Map of the Decade, Ohio and National College Access Networks, and various education related policy think tanks. Patty also led the KnowledgeWorks team that helped create the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation (LDRF) following Hurricane Katrina. Patty is survived by her husband of 22 years, Gary N. Conley; her mother, Judith Ruggie, Hamilton, MT; Michael Ruggie, Duncan Mills, CA; Peter Ruggie (Elizabeth) of New York, NY; Susie (Bill) Thomas, Hamilton, MT; mother-in-law, Gay Conley, Cincinnati, OH; sister-in-law, Carolyn Greathouse, of Williamsburg, VA; step son, William Aaron Conley, Greenville, SC.; Daughter-in-law, Gwen Conley, Greenville, SC; beloved grandsons, Henry and Charles Conley; niece Andrea (Jorde) Catasus; niece and nephew, Madeleine and Max Ruggie; and niece, Emilie Thomas. She was preceded in death by her father, Joseph S. Ruggie. The family will hold a private service. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to iSPACE, the STEM Learning Place, at 300 Scarlet Oaks Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45241 (

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