Robert “Bob” Kenneth Ruff passed away on May 25, 2022, at his daughter’s home in Wallingford, surrounded by his loving family. Bob resided in East Haven, CT and most recently, Wallingford, CT
Bob was born March 5, 1933 in Newburgh, NY to Kenneth and Irene (McDowell) Ruff. He was the oldest of eight children. He will be missed by sisters Jean Stone and Katie Dillon, and brother Richard Ruff. He was predeceased by his sisters Laurie (Tibor) Korpany, Janice Lasky and brothers Kenneth (Delores) and Donald (Jean) Ruff.
Bob leaves behind his six sons from his marriage to Elizabeth Ruff: Robert Ruff, Jr (Dina Glantz) of Stratford, Kenneth (Debra) of Milford, David (Lynn) of Fuquay Varina, NC, Troy (Carmen) of Stratford, Trent of Beacon Falls, Todd (Ronnie Mendoza) of Austin, TX, and his one daughter, Elizabeth Guidone (Raymond) of Wallingford, CT, his girlfriend, of 29 years, Deborah Riveccio their beloved cats Rocky, Bella and Bandit; grandchildren: Danielle, Erica, Robert, Troy, Kenneth, Eric, Kaitlyn, Brandon, Trinity; Raymond, Jason and Winifred and great grandchildren Dominique, Dezerae, Robert, Jordan, Jacob, Kalei, Jason, Alissa, Anthony, Asher, Pheonix, Evolet and Lirit, great-great grandchildren Jaiden, Cassidy, Jacoby and Caleb; Stepsons Michael and Mathew Riveccio and granddaughter RaeLynn. Clearly, a part of Bob will live on in his enormous family.
Bob proudly served in the Korean War, 1952 – 1954. He was stationed in Korea, as an ammunitions expert, for 16 months. He was awarded the Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal as well as the Bronze Star.
Bob worked many years at Remington Arms, in Bridgeport, Sikorsky’s in Stratford and Dupont-Sorval in Newtown. He always enjoyed his work and the many friends he made there.
From a young age Bob always loved music. He sang with the A capella choir in Stratford High School and was a member of the Drum and Fyfe Squad, playing the drums. Once his sons came along, after he returned from Korea, he created and led his own band “The Instigators” which featured sons Bobby, Ken and David. Bob, as lead singer, and his Instigators were hired for weddings and private parties from the time the boys were just entering their teens. The Instigators, with various non-family members joining at times, entertained people at venues across CT for many years. As far as his non-musical children, he rarely missed a baseball game of Troy, Trent, Todd or Beth. He was often found at the backfield fence cheering them on. He was fiercely proud of all of his children.
Bob divorced in the mid-1980’s and moved to his trailer in Thomaston, CT. Although he enjoyed the solitude and beauty of the quiet area he continued to head south on the weekends as he was a weekly attendee for Saturday night Karaoke at the Ramada Inn in Stratford, CT. Here he kept his love of music, as well as his need to entertain, alive. He remained a popular “regular” singer with his favorite song being My Way by Frank Sinatra. The Ramada is where is met his girlfriend Debbie, after hearing her laughter across the crowded room. He instantly fell in love with that laugh and they spent the next 29 years together.
Bob found comfort in routine. He and Debbie enjoyed Friday night dinner out, Saturday dinner and a show, be it at the local movie theater, or a play or musical at the Kate, Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, Oakdale or Bridgeport Cabaret. He loved to be entertained.
Bob loved riding his motor cycle with his sons and friends. He continued riding until he was 80. He preferred to drive a black Cadillac. Of course the vanity plate reads “MyWay2”.
“My Way” exemplified the way he lived his life. In his final days he stated “I have done everything in this life that I wanted to do and I am ready to go”. Not all of us can say this. Bob did it “His Way” from beginning to end, he was happy, he was loved and he will be missed by all who knew him.
In lieu of flowers, we suggest a donation to your local animal shelter or simply perform a random act of kindness. Per his request, we will have a Celebration of Life at a later date. Those who knew him should contact the family for more information.