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Lloyd Ruff passed away peacefully at his home in Arizona on January 4, 2021 with family by his side. He spent his last year with in-home care surrounded by the people he loved most.
Lloyd was born to Bertha and Otto Ruff on August 29th, 1936 in Fredonia North Dakota. During his retirement years he called Rapid City, South Dakota home in the summer and warmed his bones with the Arizona sun during the winter in Mesa, Arizona.
Lloyd met his late wife Clara at a barn dance, where he used his good looks and charm to sweep her off her feet. They were married on April 12, 1958 and spent 59 years growing old together. They were blessed with six children: Steven, Susan, Cindy, Jim, Lori, and Kim. Lloyd and Clara raised their family on the Ruff Family Farm in Edgeley, North Dakota. During these years of hard work on the farm, he enjoyed the tending to the cows, tilling the fields, mending fences, working from sunup to sundown, and watching his children participate in sporting events. In 1977, Lloyd and Clara packed the family up and moved to Bowman, North Dakota to begin a new adventure in the motel business. This turned out to be an extremely successful endeavor as they continued the business for 34 years; until their retirement in 2011.
Lloyd much preferred the pastures and fields of farming over the brick and mortar of the hotel business. Even though those years were very busy he always made time to spend with his family, go hunting, and build his collections. Much to Clara’s dismay, guns, whiskey bottles, cars, tractors, and other collectables seemed to magically appear on shelves and in sheds during their life together. If Lloyd wasn’t purchasing a vehicle to stash away from Clara, he was driving one. He would wake up at two in the morning to reach his destination on time. At 80 years old, he insisted on making the 19-hour drive from South Dakota to Arizona in two days instead of taking a two and a half hour flight. Long drives to visit family in Kansas City, Arizona, or Washington were a common occurrence and a favorite pastime for Lloyd.
Lloyd will always be remembered endearingly for his ruthlessly competitive nature. He was highly skilled at playing card games, billiards, bowling, and shooting a basketball. You could never beat him at a game of HORSE. A wager was nearly always placed on any game he played. His children either only played with nickels, so they would not lose a fortune, or they put their money on Lloyd as the sure bet. Beyond his refined gaming skills, Lloyd was simply lucky. Whether he was visiting a casino, or attending a gun banquet, he always seemed to walk away with a new gun or a little extra cash in his pocket. He was even known to create his own luck by pulling stunts such as purchasing all the hats at a gun banquet to ensure he would take home the prized gun. We fondly recall his smile after a win with his Jim Beam and Coke in hand. His undying determination and undoubtably heavy whiskey pours will be missed dearly by his friends and family.
Lloyd was welcomed into heaven by his wife Clara, parents Otto and Bertha, brother Clifford and granddaughter Jessica. He is survived by Aileen Miles, Steven Ruff, Susan and Jim Ridl, Cindy Ruff and Robin Schamber, Jim and Gayl Ruff, Lori Ruff, Kim Bahr and Vern Burress. Lloyd is also survived by eight grandchildren: Andrea Jackson, Josh and Jared Ridl, Bailey, Miranda, and Hally Ruff, and Breyden and Kade Bahr. He’s also survived by seven great grandchildren: Shayden, AJ, and Beau Jackson, Ellie, Reese, and Brekan Ridl, and Jessica’s son Tristan Ridl.
A celebration of life is tentatively scheduled in Piedmont, South Dakota in July. In lieu of flowers or gifts, please send all memorial gifts to Hospice of the Valley, Arizona. This hospice gave Lloyd the opportunity to spend his final days at home, something we know he would want to make possible for others.