Henry Jacob Ruff, age 92 of Middle Amana, died May 10, 2014 at Colonial Manor of Amana. Celebration of Life services will be Saturday May 17 at 10:00 a.m. at Middle Amana Community Church, Middle Amana with Elder Kristie Yoder officiating. Burial will be in the South Amana Cemetery with military honors. Visitation will be Friday May 16 from 4-7 p.m. at the church. Memorials may be given to the Amana Church Society, Camp Courageous, Salvation Army or worthwhile cause. Arrangements are with Kloster Funeral Home in Marengo.
Henry was born March 1, 1922 in South Amana, Iowa the son of Ferdinand J. and Henrietta M. Siegel Ruff. He attended the Amana Schools, graduating in 1940. Henry attended the University of Iowa where he received a Bachelor of Science in 1943 and Doctor of Dentistry in 1945. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy serving 20 years as a dentist and retired as the rank of Commander. He received several medals and honors. Henry traveled extensively while serving in the Navy. After retirement from the service Henry returned to South Amana and opened a dental practice which he continued for 18 years.
He married Eva Marie Swann in 1945 and she died in 1948. In 1954 he married Ingeborg Jakob-Koehler and to Henry and Inge were born daughter Heidi Karen and son Eric Karl. Inge died in 1982. Henry married Emaline Louise Dietrich Bryson in November 1983 and she died January 2012.
In 1993 Henry and Emaline built their dream home where he claimed he had ‘everything’ he needed. Henry practiced ‘fitness’ with daily exercise and swimming until January 2014. He was very generous with his time and money supporting many causes in which he believed.
Henry was a member of the Amana Heritage Society and translated many historical letters and documents from the Old German Script to English. He was also a member of the Amana Arts Guild , the Marengo American Legion Post #76 , and was an Elder of the Amana Church Society.
His love of friends and music were very important. He and wife Inge were instrumental in originating the Amana Oktoberfest. Being with friends, singing German songs, telling stories of his interesting life and enjoying an occasional Happy Hour gave him great satisfaction.
Henry is survived by his son Eric (Sherry) Ruff, Redding CA; five step-children Deborah Vande Voort (John) of Shawnee, KS, Dianne Schlesselman (Robert) of Williamsburg, Douglas Bryson (Angelika) of Middle Amana, Jamie Bryson (Susie) of Middle Amana and Ida Bryson of Iowa City; grandson Austin Ruff, Redding CA: eight step-grandchildren James Schlesselman (Stefani), Erica Rasti (Jeremy), Erin Nichols (Austin), Carissa Bryson, Reese Bryson, Renata Bryson, Gina Bryson, Levi Bryson and son David Alan; and two other step-great-grandchildren Isabella Schlesselman and Samantha Schlesselman.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his wives, daughter Heidi in 1983, and step-mother Henrietta Johanna Moershel Ruff in 2009.
The family extends appreciation to the staffs of Colonial Manor of Amana and Essence of Life Hospice for the loving care they provided.