“By 1955 standards it was a typical Monday morning in the Twin Cities. Clear skies, warm, calm and quiet. A few folks puttered about and occasionally a car would pass by just to stir things up. It was the day Ruckel Properties hung out its shingle. And nobody paid much attention to the event.”
Ruckel Properties, Inc. opened its doors for business in the summer of 1955, armed with the dream and the commitment to provide the Niceville-Valparaiso twin cities with communities and neighborhoods which would be unequaled in Northwest Florida. Today, over 50 years later, the area abounds with the fruits of those dreams.
Residential communities such as Rocky Bayou, Fairway Woods and Swift Creek are testaments to the high quality and preservation of nature that makes a Ruckel Properties community a place where neighbors enjoy living
Ruckel Properties also has commercial entities that have become an important part of the community such as Palm Plaza, the Ruckel Airport, Heritage Gardens Cemetery and Funeral Home and others.
Walt Ruckel, founder, owner, and driving force behind this outstanding real estate development firm, had a simple philosophy that held him in good stead over the years...never do anything which is not of the highest quality possible and never misrepresent anything to a customer.
Walt said he learned that philosophy as a boy at the knee of his grandfather, James E.
Plew, who was one of the founders of Niceville/Valparaiso and who donated the original land for Eglin Air Force Base.
Walt involved his family in the business as his father and mother had involved him. His son Jim Ruckel was involved for years in development and as President of the company when Walt became Chairman of the Board. Continuing the tradition, his daughter Marion Ruckel Skalicky became the new Chairman of the Board and his son Stephen Ruckel became the new President when Walt passed away.
An ardent advocate of important community organizations, Walt Ruckel was a major supporter of the Chamber of Commerce and the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center to name just two. Plew Elementary School is named for his grandfather, James E. Plew and
C.W. Ruckel Middle School was named for his father.
Walt Ruckel passed on in April of 2012 and left a legacy of community building that will stand the test of time.