Cover photo for Emmanuel Rugina's Obituary
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1949 Emmanuel 2023

Emmanuel Rugina

March 1, 1949 — March 20, 2023

Dr. RUGINA, Emmanuel N., 74, of Dayton, Ohio, peacefully transitioned on Monday, March 20, 2023. He was born on March 1, 1949, to Jean Baptiste Banzirabose and Angela Nyirandutiye, in Ruhengeri, Rwanda.

A devoted husband, father, and grandfather, Dr. Rugina is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Leocadie; sons, Jean Roger and Rudolph; daughters, Christine and Daniele; grandchildren, Ben, Benicia, Sasha, and Mika; brothers and sisters; and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.

Dr. Rugina received his medical degree from the National University of Rwanda and Doctor of Philosophy in pathology from the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Following his studies, Dr. Rugina returned to his beloved country of Rwanda to serve in its medical profession as an emergency doctor, a professor and dean of medical studies at the Universite Nationale du Rwanda, and a medical director for the United Nations Peacekeeping operations. His work was recognized throughout his career.

Together with his wife, Leocadie by his side, they raised four children and built life first in Butare and again in Kigali and then resettled in Dayton, Ohio following the events of 1994 that left Dr. Rugina wounded. In Dayton, he taught biology, anatomy, and physiology at the Sinclair Community College and dedicated all his free time to serving his new community.

Dr. Rugina will be remembered as a fighter, a staunch advocate and supporter for children’s education, a professor, and most importantly, the dad and father who doted on his family and loved life to the fullest and shared that joy with everyone around him. Despite his injuries and sickness in the latter part of his life, Dr. Rugina never gave up, choosing to believe in the power of prayer and the strength of his faith to carry him through.

Early in his children’s lives, he introduced them to the power of reading, the importance of critical thinking, and the meaning of independent thinking. He inspired and supported his children’s career pursuit. He enjoyed spending time with them when at home from school or work, participating in lively debates on a range of topics.

Dr. Rugina loved life and loved to share God’s bounty. He believed that life should be enjoyed to its fullest. That is why he cherished weekend outings with his family, watching the Fighting Irish football games, participating in his church’s retreats, and mentoring young people.

Perhaps, his enduring legacy will be how much he cared and how many people he supported throughout his life, ensuring that underprivileged children in Rwanda received a proper education. Together with his wife and church friends, they created the Cadie Project Fund at the Dayton Foundation, to ensure that children everywhere would benefit from an adequate education. He spearheaded efforts to connect his local Catholic parish to the church in his native Ruhengeri, creating a network and platform to share in God’s work.

The family will receive friends from 5pm – 7pm on Tuesday, March 28th, 2023, at the Routsong Funeral Home, 2100 E. Stroop Rd., Kettering, OH 45429. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 29, 2023, at Holy Angels Catholic Church, 1322 Brown St, Dayton, OH 45409. Burial will follow immediately after at the Woodland Cemetery, 118 Woodland Ave, Dayton, OH 45409.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Dr. Rugina’s favorite charitable work, the Cadie Project Fund at the Dayton Foundation (#7564). Condolences may be sent to the family at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Emmanuel Rugina, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, March 28, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Routsong Funeral Home & Cremation Services - Kettering

2100 E Stroop Rd, Kettering, OH 45429

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass of Christian Burial

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Holy Angels Catholic Church

218 K Street, Oakwood, OH 45409

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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