Aug. 12, 1931-Dec. 26, 2018
Clarence John Ruff passed away in the early morning hours of Dec. 26, 2018, surrounded by his family at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. He was 87.
Born in Mildred, Montana, August 12, 1931, to John and Christina (Gackle) Ruff, Clarence grew up on an eastern Montana farm just north of Mildred. This left him with a lifelong soft spot in his heart for cowboys and the farm/ranch way of life. He attended school in Terry, Montana, graduating high school there in 1949. Clarence’s father passed away that same year, leaving him to assume the responsibility of helping his mother run the farm and ranch. In 1952, Clarence married the love of his life, Corolin Lauer. In 1961 he moved his young family which included three children to Beach, North Dakota, marking the beginning of his nearly 35-year career in the fuel and petroleum industry.
A hard worker by nature and seeking opportunity, he and Corolin purchased the Exxon Bulk Plant and the College Exxon service station in Dillon, Montana, in 1965, which they ran for more than a decade. During their time in Dillon, Clarence was involved in the community and the Catholic Church, eventually serving as exulted ruler of the Dillon Elks Lodge. Their family continued to grow, expanding from three to five children. Itching to do something new, Clarence tried his hand at owning a trailer sales business in Dillon and then purchased the Log Cabin Restaurant in Choteau, Montana, before moving with Corolin and their two younger children to Spokane in 1980. There he resumed his career working in the petroleum and fuel industry until his retirement in 1996.
Even in retirement, Clarence always believed in keeping a healthy mind and a healthy body, never having a shortage of projects to tackle and always making time to work out. He also believed that enjoying a glass of fine wine or indulging in anything chocolate was always a good use of time.
Clarence is survived by his wife of 66 years, Corolin Lauer Ruff of Spokane, Wash., and their five children: daughter Debbie (Max) Lapham of Jackson, Mont., son Ken (Rhonda) Ruff of Mesquite, Nev., daughter Donna (Frank) Marchesseau of Reno, Nev., daughter Kim (Don) Hooper of Spokane, Wash., and son Brian Ruff of Seattle, Wash. He is also survived by his ten grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Lillian Ruff Ledyard.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, January 4, 2019, at Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Spokane with reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests making a donation to the charity of your choice.