Ruane, J. Michael
J. Michael Ruane (Dec. 20, 1928-June 25, 2006) served as a state representative for Salem for 30 years. "An old-school politician with a passion for his hometown of Salem, Ruane rose from a clerk in the city's motor division to become vice chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee" according to the Salem News.
He served as Salem's Councilor-at-Large from 1970-1975 and three decades in the House of Representatives. He served as state rep from 1975-2004; Vice Chairman, House Ways and Means Committee, 1996-2004.
Ruane had his share of health problems, he suffered ulcers over the years. In 1998, he was struck by throat cancer and had his larynx removed. He used a battery-operated device to his throat to speak in his later years.
After Ruane's death in 2006, a dispute arose over whether his widow should receive a state pension, even though he never paid into the pension fund. On July 26, 2006 the House approved the pension for Ruane's wife Helena. A lien was placed on her house to allow the House to recoup what her husband would have paid into the fund by selling the house at her passing.
Vertical File in Salem Collection - Ruane, Mike
"Ex-Salem rep dies at 77" Salem News, June 26, 2006, p. 1
"J. Michael Ruane (obituary) Salem News, June 27, 2006, p. B4
"Saying goodbye to Ruane; former state rep laid to rest by city he loved" Salem News, June 30, 2006, p.1
"Michael Ruane, state lawmaker dies at 78" Boston Globe, June 26, 2006, p. B2
"Ruane's widow will get pension; lawmaker's override Romney's veto of bill" Salem News, July 26, 2006, p. A1
"Lawmakers welcome back Rep. Ruane (after battle with throat cancer) Salem Evening News, Jan. 7, 1999, p.1