Erwin Ruff

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Erwin Ruff, 92, of McGregor, Iowa died Friday, May 25, 2018 at his home in McGregor, Iowa in the care of his family. He was born on May 28, 1925 to Edmund and Clara (Berns) Ruff in National, Iowa. Erwin joined the United States Army, served in World War II and was honorably discharged.

Erwin was united in marriage with Eileen Agnes Connor on September 8, 1951 at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Monona, Iowa. Eight children were born to this union. Together they farmed outside of McGregor, Iowa and were active members of St. Mary’s Parish. 

Erwin, a lifelong farmer, enjoyed hunting, fishing, planting trees, and sharing his love of nature and farming with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  He was a supporter of 4-H and Boy Scouts and an active member of the Clayton County Fair Board for the past 50 years.  Erwin supported many wildlife and conservation programs throughout his life.  He was a member of the American Legion and local AMVETS post and an avid supporter of activities honoring American Veterans including, parades, military honors, fundraising, and displaying of flags.   Erwin, along with his wife and children, started Ruff’s Sugar Bush and have been producing maple syrup and sorghum for 50 years.  Many school children will remember visiting the Ruff farm for a field trip to learn how maple syrup was made and to taste a sorghum cookie.  

Erwin is survived by his eight children, Mary (Tom) Giese of McGregor, Rose Ann (Noel) Cantu of McGregor, Don (Kari) Ruff of McGregor, Bob (Utoni) Ruff of Garnavillo, Alan (Connie) Ruff of Farmersburg, Jim Ruff (special friend, Cindy Koons) of Monona, Carol (Dan) Voss of Decorah and Dan (Patti) Ruff of McGregor; nineteen grandchildren; twenty-one great-grandchildren; and a sister, Helen Farrell of California.

Erwin was preceded in death by his wife, Eileen; his parents; a brother, Edmund Ruff and a sister, Alice Ellwanger.

Visitation was on Thursday, May 31, 2018 from 4-7 p.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church, McGregor, Iowa with a Scripture Service at 7 p.m.. There will also be a one hour visitation before Mass at the church on Friday.

A Mass of Christian Burial with Military Honors was held at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 1, 2018, at St. Mary Catholic Church, McGregor, Iowa with Rev. Nils de Jesus Hernandez as the Celebrant and Deacon Pat Malanaphy assisting.

Inurnment was at St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, McGregor, Iowa at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the St. Mary Building Fund and the McGregor AmVets.

Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, McGregor, Iowa assisted the family with arrangements.

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