Robert Allen Ruff, 58, suddenly passed away on October 19, 2020, in Parker, Colorado. A private family Celebration of Life was held in Kearney, NE on Sunday, October 25th, 2020.
There will also be a Celebration of Life on Friday, October 30th, 2020, 10:00am at the Lawton Centenary United Methodist Church, 704 SW D Avenue, Lawton, Oklahoma. Friends will be encouraged to share a short moment of their favorite memories of Robert during the service. Face masks will be required. Arrangements are being handled by Parker Funeral Home and Crematory in Parker, Colorado.
Kind. The first to help, the last to take credit for it. Quiet and strong, like a river’s current, he carved through the landscape of many hearts and lives in his fifty eight years of life. On October 19th, 2020, he transitioned from this earth to his forever home, in Heaven.
Robert was born to Larry and Donna Ruff October 29th, 1961 in Bethesda, Maryland. Earlier years of childhood offered him varying experiences as he attended schools in St Louis, MO; Des Moines, IA and Sioux City, IA. As destiny would have it, the last of the schools he attended was Kearney High School in Kearney, NE, where he met the love of his life, Jerilyn Brandorff. In 1980, he graduated from Kearney High and two short years later, he married the girl he had fallen in love with.
He continued his education at Kearney Sate College (Now, University of Nebraska at Kearney) where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, graduating in 1984. He went on to study dentistry at the University of Nebraska Lincoln Dental School, graduating in 1989 (D.D.S). He was a big Husker fan and had a tradition of attending games with his twin brother Ron and their younger brother, Andy. Go big Red!
Robert had a heart to help, after obtaining his D.D.S he went onto serve four years in the Army at Fort Hood TX. From there, he continued his career, with a passion to serve others with his time and talents at the Indian Public Health Services. He spent a total of sixteen years there, three on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, three at the Alaska Native Medical Center and ten at the Anadarko Indian Health Center in Oklahoma. Throughout his tenure in service to our nation he earned several military awards.
After he retired from Public Health Services, he remained in Oklahoma and worked eleven years at Fort Sill Allen Dental Clinic as a civilian dentist. Robert and Jerilyn recently moved to Parker, Colorado where he worked with Access Mobile Dentistry, a mobile dental care service offered to nursing home residents, for the last six weeks of his life. His career is marked with decades of tender care and devout service for many patients.
His heart to serve didn’t end when he clocked out at work. Robert was an Eagle Scout and was honored with the Order of the Arrow, the Boys Scouts of America’s National Honor Society, composed of scouters who best exemplify the scout oath and law, in their daily lives, as elected by their peers. Part of this oath and these laws is, to be a person who is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. When you take an eagle’s eye view of his life, he was all of these.
One of the biggest compliments a father can receive is to be a person his children want to emulate and Robert proved to be that kind of a dad. He mentored all four of their boys as they followed in his footsteps to join the elite brotherhood of Eagle Scouts. He continued to maintain three of their Eagle projects at their home church after they left for college.
In his youth, Robert took two Boy Scout camping trips to Northern Tier, as an adult he went back with his son Alex. He also went to Philmont Scout camp as a youth and returned as an adult for two adult family training camps. He earned several Scouting awards and participated in Scout patch collecting and trading. One of his favorite Scout events was the pinewood derby, he enjoyed creating pinewood derby cars, especially with a dental theme.
Long after their children were youths in Scouts, Rob remained a Cub Scout/Boy Scout leader and mentor both Scouts and leaders. It was said of him that he saw the best in every scout, giving them the tools to excel and he stood beside the leaders, to propel their leadership abilities.
All accolades and awards aside, his greatest love was his family. He loved Jerilyn, you could always see it in the way he looked at her. He was deeply committed and loyal to his role as father and husband, together they raised five amazing children, all who have his best characteristics. He walked his daughter down the aisle at her wedding and was the proud papa to two beautiful grandsons who adored him. He has left a legacy in Natasha, Nathanial, Alex, Zachary and Kyle. Each of them have the distinct qualities he exhibited in his life, and will live on through them.
Robert was an active member of Centenary United Methodist Church, in Lawton, Oklahoma. He was a regular platelet donor to the Oklahoma Blood Bank, as well as serving many volunteer hours in the community helping others. If there was a need to be met or something that needed to get done, Robert was always there to lend a hand. He was a military history buff who loved crosswords and camping with his family. He was an avid fan of the Beatles and was lucky enough to attend a Paul McCartney concert in Nebraska with his twin brother Ron. Mostly, he loved the outdoors, always curious to discover what was around the bend or up the mountain.
It has been said, it is not length of years we live that matter, but the impact we made during those years, that truly matter. Fifty eight years was not long enough for those of us who love him, however, the impact he made is one that will live for generations to come.
Robert Allen Ruff has left an indelible impact to be remembered by his wife of 37 years, Jerilyn Ruff; five children: Nathanial Ruff (Fiancée Brianne Bixby) of Saratoga Springs, NY, Natasha Seahorn (Dehrel) of McKinney, TX, Alexander of Golden, CO, Zachary of Golden, CO, Kyle of Parker, CO; two grandsons: Aiden and Liam Seahorn of McKinney, TX; two brothers: Ronald (Deanna) Ruff of Bennet, NE; Andy (Sandra) Ruff of Portland, OR, In-Laws: Gerald and Genevieve Brandorff of Kearney, NE, Sister-in-Law, Pam (Joe) Methe of Kearney, NE; Brother in-law, Perry (Lorie) Brandorff of Chicago, IL, thirteen nieces and nephews, twelve great nieces and nephews, and many other relatives and friends.
Rob was preceded in death by his parents, Donna Phillips Ruff, Larry L Ruff; Grandparents: Donald and Nelvia Phillips, Walter and Mamie Ruff.
The family request memorials be given to: Centenary United Methodist Church Lawton, OK, Oklahoma Blood Bank, Boys Scouts of America, or In Honor of Rob you may also donate your time to a worthy cause.
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