Jack N. Ruffner, 89, of Mishawaka, Indiana, passed away at 2:15 a.m., Saturday, December 26th, 2020, at the Center for Hospice in Mishawaka, Indiana. Jack was born on August 25th, 1931 to Clarence and Esther (Schmidt) Ruffner. Jack was a lifelong resident of the St. Joseph county area. Jack married Dorene (Bennett) Ruffner, his wife of 65 years, who preceded him in death just two months ago. Jack is survived by his four children: Kregg Ruffner of Indianapolis, Indiana; Dan (Judie) Ruffner of Granger, Indiana; Kim Ruffner of Mishawaka, Indiana; and Sherri (Kirk) Ruffner of South Bend, Indiana. Jack is also survived by three grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. In addition to his wife, Jack was preceded in death by his father, Clarence Ruffner; his mother, Esther Ruffner; his sister, Maxine Davis; his sister, Virginia Imbro; and his great-grandson, Cameron Snead.
After helping his father lay bricks and mix cement while attending High School, Jack graduated from Riley in 1950. He entered the Navy and served in the Korean War, stationed in Bermuda in Squad VP49. He was a crew member in charge of hydraulic systems on the PBM and P5M planes. VP49 flew over the Bermuda Triangle and beyond, searching for Russian submarines. Jack then attended Bethel University in Mishawaka, Indiana. He was president of the senior class and graduated in 1962. In 1966, Jack graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Master's in Education Administration.
Jack's career in education started out by teaching science at Monroe and Adams schools. (Several of his science students went on to become scientists. One invented a heart / lung machine and one became an astrologist.) Jack then became an assistant principal at Jefferson School. He was then a principal for many years at various schools in the area, including Tarkington, Swanson, Lincoln, and Studebaker. Jack also helped develop and promote the South Bend School Corporation science fairs. He also worked with the school corporation bilingual Department. One of the programs he helped implement at Studebaker School was awarded "One of the 100 top best ideas in education in the 1980s"by a national educational publication.
Jack loved to watch movies, tease and joke around with people, watch Notre Dame football, and had a never-ending sweet tooth! Jack will be loved and forever missed. There will be a memorial / celebration of life held later this summer. Contributions can be made to Center for Hospice Care of Mishawaka or the ASPCA. Condolences can be made at Kaniewski.com
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