David S. Ruhe, former member of the Universal House of Justice, passes away

NEW YORK — Dr. David S. Ruhe, former member of the Universal House of Justice, the international governing council of the Bahá'í Faith, died on 6 September 2005 near his home in Newburgh , New York , following a stroke in mid-August. He was 91.

Dr. Ruhe became a Bahá'í in Philadelphia in 1941, subsequently serving on numerous local Spiritual Assemblies and national Bahá'í committees. Elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States in 1959, he served as its secretary from 1963 until 1968, when he was elected to the Universal House of Justice, on which he served until 1993.

A medical doctor, Dr. Ruhe was also an accomplished film-maker, painter, and author. Graduating from the Temple University School of Medicine in 1941, Dr. Ruhe began his medical career during World War II as a malaria researcher with the United States Public Health Service.

In l954, Dr. Ruhe was named the first professor of Medical Communications at the University of Kansas Medical School. Among the innovations he introduced there were the use of optical fibers for endoscopic cinematography, the projection of high-definition images in surgical theaters, and videotaping of psychiatric sessions for peer review. He made scores of medical films, winning the Golden Reel award, the Venice Film Festival award, and the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain award.

Dr. Ruhe was also prolific writer. In his medical career, he authored many papers and two books on aspects of medicine and medical audiovisual communication. During his years at the Bahá'í World Centre, Dr. Ruhe wrote Door of Hope, a detailed history of Bahá'í holy places in Israel , published in 1983. Later, he wrote Robe of Light, a historical account of Bahá'u'lláh's early years, published in 1994. Dr. Ruhe is survived by his wife, Margaret, and two sons, Christopher and Douglas, and their families.