Michael Cade Ruegger, 31, commonly known as Mookie, passed away on Feb. 3 after a life-long struggle with muscular dystrophy. He was born Feb. 10, 1982 in Greenwich, and was the son of Arthur and Susan Ruegger of Darien.

Mr. Ruegger grew up in Darien and graduated from Darien High School in 2001. While at Darien High School, he was active in the debate team, was a manager with the football team under Coach Mike Sangster and developed a love for American history. After high school, Mr. Ruegger went on to receive his bachelor’s degree at Hofstra University, his master’s degree at Southern Connecticut State University and, at the time of his death, was pursuing a Ph.D. in history from the State University of New York at Albany.

Mr. Ruegger was a member of the Representative Town Meeting from 2007 to 2008 where he represented district 2, and was active in the Darien Democratic party. For the past year, Mr. Ruegger was a resident of the Respiratory Rehabilitation Center at St. Clare’s Hospital in Dover, NJ.

He will be remembered for his ability to see the humor in all situations, his keen wit and his tenacity in never letting obstacles stop him from pursuing his goals, his family said.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Ruegger is survived by his sister, Cait of Darien, and his grandparents Catherine and Herman Ruegger of Wellington, Fla. and Mary Hildebrand of Nashville, Tenn.

Calling hours will be held at the Edward Lawrence Funeral Home, 2119 Post Road, Darien on Friday, Feb. 14 from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. at St. Luke’s Parish, 1864 Post Road in Darien.

Memorial donations in memory of Michael Ruegger and may be made to The University at Albany Foundation at UAB 226, 1400 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12222 or RRC, St. Clare’s Hospital, 400 W. Blackwell St, Dover, NJ 027801.