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Rory Ruppert, champion of Balboa Park, dies

Rory Ruppert, the director of the Balboa Park Sustainability Program and a champion of environmental issues, died Feb. 21 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

She served as a key member of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership for seven years and spent more than 30 years in nonprofit and civic organization management.

"Those who had the honor of knowing and working with Rory -- and there are many of us -- recall the bright spirit, smile, and energy that she exhibited in her life and work," the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership released in a statement. "She was a true force of nature, a wise companion, and a visionary who has left an indelible mark on our community. In the same way that she cultivated a thriving program to help 'Green Balboa Park,' Rory cultivated abiding friendships, leaving us with memories that will not soon be forgotten."

During her tenure at Balboa Park, Ruppert helped secure $3 million in energy efficiency grants used to upgrade historic Balboa Park buildings.

Her input also helped the park's institutions save more than $1 million annually in energy costs -- the equivalent environmental impact of removing 900 vehicles from the roads.

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