|Geoff Ruff, age 94 of Abingdon, passed away peacefully at 5:30 am, Thursday, September 27, 2012 in Galesburg Cottage Hospital.
He was born in London, England on March 12, 1918, the son of Harry Bredon and Frances Ethel (Mortby) Ruff. He was reared and educated in England, Canada, and the United States.
During World War II, Geoff served in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a bomber navigator. His plane was shot down over Germany and he spent 2.5 years as a POW in a German Prison Camp. At the wars end, he helped liberate those held in German concentration camps.
In 1945, he married Shirley McLennan in Toronto, Canada. They had two daughters, Diana and Patricia. Shirley passed away in 1970. Geoff married Dorris Kreps of Abingdon on September 29, 1972 and gained daughters Sheila and Sharol. He is survived by his wife Dorris, his daughters, Diana (Ray) Goff of Casa Grande, Arizona, Patricia (Ronald) Murray of Cameron, Sheila (Bill) Day of Abingdon, and Sharol (Jim) Ryan of RR Cameron. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren, R.C. Goff, Cynda Goff Reynolds, Aaron Murray, Ashley Murray Swedell, Dustan Day, Rick Day, Teri Day Blevins, Tami Day Bowen, Jim Ryan, Jr., Ronel Ryan Engnell, and Lance Ryan, twenty great-grandchildren, six great-great-grand children, one brother Kenneth Pettit, amd a niece Francesca Hawthorne, both in California, his large Canadian family, and many stepnieces and nephews. Geoff was preceded in death by his parents, his stepfather, C.B. Pettit, and his sister, Margot Pettit Nichols.
Geoff attended the University of California and became a U.S. citizen in 1957. He worked as an industrial engineer for United Airlines for 30 years. His job required many moves to airports in cities across the U.S. He always became involved in youth organizations, charities, and community activities. He helped to build hospitals and plant new churches in Calif., Colorado, and Illinois. He was a member of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Elk Grove, Illinois.
Geoff and Dorris loved to travel and enjoyed trips to Canada, England, Japan, Australia, and many other places. He loved the game of golf and played regularly at Laurel Greens in Knoxville. He was a member of the American (served as chaplain) and Canadian Legions, parachute club, POW group and Toastmasters. He will be remembered for his dry English wit, his kind generous spirit, and his great love for his family.
Funeral service will be held at 2:00 pm Sunday, September 30, 2012 at the Hinchliff-Pearson-West Abingdon Chapel. Mrs. Eleanor Landon will officiate. Burial will follow in the Abingdon Cemetery with military rites by Harry E. Wiles American Legion Post #381. Visitation will be held from noon to 2:00 pm Sunday at the chapel.
Memorials may be made to Wounded Warrior Project. Online condolences may be made at www.h-p-w.com.