John H. Ruf, 74

OSWEGO, NY – John H. Ruf, 74, died unexpectedly at his home on Thursday morning, December 3, 2015.

John H. Ruf
John H. Ruf

Born August 20, 1941, in Oswego, he was the son of Herman J. Ruf and Thelma (Place) Ruf.

John graduated from the State University of New York College at Oswego where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Education in 1963 and his Master of Science in Administration in 1969.

He began his career as a special education teacher working for Oswego County BOCES.

Then he became a sixth grade math and social studies teacher for Mexico Academy and Central School District.

He retired in 1997 after serving as the principal of Mexico Middle School for 25 years.

He was later inducted into the Mexico Academy and Central School’s Wall of Fame recognizing his lifelong accomplishments for the district.

John made many contributions to the community, most recently serving as a trustee for New Haven United Methodist Church, a member of the Oswego Elks Lodge and the vice president for legislation of Oswego County Retired Teachers’ Association.

Previously, he was on the board of directors for the ARC, NYS Board of Governors for Children with Disabilities, represented the MACS district on the County Curriculum and Instruction Committee and was a member of the New Haven Cemetery Association.

John also mentored new school administrators and found this most rewarding.

Integrity is defined as doing the right thing even when no one is watching.

This epitomizes the manner in which John lived his life personally and professionally.

He was very well respected as an educator, always putting students’ best interests at the forefront.

First and foremost John treasured his family.

Any opportunity he had to attend his grandchildren’s events, no matter what the distance, he knew the value of supporting their accomplishments.

His family was a great source of pride.

He was an avid golfer and enjoyed teaching his grandchildren the sport.

He most recently began playing pickle ball due to being exposed to it in Florida where he spent the winters with his wife, Virginia.

They were members of a formidable trivia team in Spruce Creek South.

He was extremely active walking daily, playing horseshoes and table tennis.

Competitive card games with close friends were also a source of enjoyment.

John was an avid outdoor sportsman who enjoyed fishing and hunting.

He was a charter member of the Butterfly Waterfowl Association.

He loved spending summers on Lake Ontario with his family where he spent time boating.

John is survived by the love of his life, Virginia (Fones) Ruf, whom he married on June 15, 1963; three children, Rebecca (Garrette) Weiss, Rachel (Robert) Baker and Ryan (Lynda) Ruf; and five grandchildren, Leah and Kara Weiss, Elizabeth and Andrew Baker and Olivia Grace Ruf.

Calling hours will be 3 – 6 p.m. on Saturday at Nelson Funeral Home, 11 W. Albany St., Oswego.

A Celebration of Life, with Pastor Richard Barling presiding, will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday at the New Haven United Methodist Church, Route 104 New Haven.

The family would prefer that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the New Haven United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 142, New Haven, NY 13121.


  1. Mr. Ruf was very respected in our little town of New Haven/Dempster. He was appreciated always and will forever be missed. My condolences to Mrs. Ruf, Rebecca, Rachel, and Ryan. I wish I could attend the services, but am unable. I will be thinking of you.

  2. Such a great man and wonderful family. My thoughts and prayers to the family. A life to celebrate!


  4. I have only known John for only a few short years but I have never been privilege to meet such a good friend. I will miss him. Rest in peace my friend.

  5. Rip Mr. Ruf You were a great man and a great inspiration. You always listened to us in school. Thinking of the family. Kara and family

  6. I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to the whole family in this holiday season. We were neighbors in Dempster for years and I babysat the girls several times. I remember Mr. Ruf as a quiet, respected gentleman. A life well lived.

  7. My condolences go out to Ginny and her children and grandchildren in this time of grief.

  8. I worked with John on many committees for over 25 years while an administrator with the Hannibal Central School District. John was a class act, dedicated to his students and the total school community of the Mexico School District. A true professional’s, professional ! My condolences to his family.

  9. My deepest condolences to the Ruf family. I had known John for over 15 years on the Links. It was always a pleasure to play with him and accept the many teachings he offered me for better play. He will
    surely be missed.

  10. John was a stand-up-guy. We got to know him & Ginny through the Retired Teachers’ Assoc. He served, whether it be as a lobbyist, regional legislative chair or as an impromptu wine & cheese server at one of our conventions. He could be counted on. John will be missed and our sincere condolences to Ginny and the family.

  11. John and i were saddened to return home to find out Oswego County lost one of its finest. Out thoughts go out to Ginny and her children. I enjoyed working for and with John. He will be sorely missed.

  12. Dearest Ginny ,
    I am so sorry for your loss. John was a very fine man and had a great smile and much wisdom. All of us will miss him in our lives. I will send prayers and love to all the family. Take care of yourself and please extend my sympathy to your whole family.
    Most Sincerely,
    Rebecca Raymond

Comments are closed.