Obituary Details

Adam W.J.B. Ruffing

(05/24/1910 - 04/06/2004)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 03/31/2004

Adam William Jennings Bryan Ruffing

Jennings Ruffing was born Adam William Jennings Bryan Ruffing on May 24, 1910 to Christ Ruffing and Gertrude Marking Ruffing in Edgemont, S. D. He passed away April 6 in Douglas. A funeral was held on April 12, 2 p.m. at St. George Episcopal Church in Lusk. Interment followed in the Lusk Cemetery.

He was the sixth of nine siblings. His first few months were spent in Edgemont until they returned to the family ranch on Old Woman Creek in northern Niobrara County. Jennings attended country school on the ranch until high school.

During his high school years he shared an apartment with his older brother Ed Ruffing and "Slim" Tibbets as his mother and father were occupied with the family ranch. He graduated as Valedictorian of his class of Lusk High School 1928. He was awarded a scholarship to the University of Wyoming but elected instead to attend the University of Nebraska to study aeronautical engineering.

He returned from the University of Nebraska and convinced the girl of his dreams, Bess Frances Anstice, to become his bride. They were married in Newcastle on Easter Sunday April 20, 1930.

He worked for Ford Motor Company in Lusk for several years and then took the job of managing the new Bee Line when the business opened in Lusk. He left the Bee Line and returned to the ranch for several years working with his father. His main venture was the production and sale of Alfalfa seed. The seed profits moved his family back to Lusk when he bought out Chris Joss's share of the Independent Oil Refinery east of Lusk. He assumed full ownership in the late 1940's and operated the oil refinery until it was sold to Sioux Oil Company in 1959.

In 1959 Ruffing Heating and Electric Service was opened and he operated that business until health issues forced his retirement in 1992 at age 82 years.

Jennings interests were varied. He was raised Catholic and from 1954 he was a member and supporter of Saint George's Episcopal Church. He and Coy Jennewien were responsible for the repeaters necessary to get the first Television reception in Lusk. He was a prolific tinkerer and inventor and patented the first engine powered rotary snowplow. He was curious about "cosmic" issues and could speak for hours about psychic phenomenon never losing sight of his unwavering faith in God and the presence of Jesus Christ in his life.

Jennings is survived by his wife Bess of 74 years, one sister Monica Enry of Alliance, Neb.; five children, two sons; John of Lusk and Jennings Jr. and wife Becky of Medford, Ore., three daughters, Pat and Chuck Smith of Lusk, Mary and Ross Ogle of Southerland, Springs, Texas, Judy Sherer of Aurora, Colo.; 13 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews including Donna Ruffing and Jean Thomas of Lusk. He was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers, three sisters, one granddaughter and one great-grandson.

The family requests memorials to Saint Georges Episcopal Church in Lusk.

Cicmanec-Pier Funeral Home in Lusk was in charge of the arrangements.

Images & Attachments

Jennings Ruffing
Jennings and Bess Ruffing celebrate 50 wedded years
Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
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