RUFFUS EUGENE GAROUTTE ~ Class of 1955
December 13, 1936 — May 3, 2013
Ruffus Eugene "Dad"/"Papaw" Garoutte will be remembered mostly for the way he befriended everyone he met. Ruffus was born to Rufus and Sue Garoutte on December 13, 1936, in Ponca City, OK and passed away peacefully on May 3, 2013, in Union, WA, with family and friends at his side.
He lived his young years in Baxter Springs, MO and ending up in Richland where he made many life-long friends. He graduated in 1955 from Columbia High School and Central Washington University, where he met the love of his life, Judith Patricia Lillehei. They married and their adventure together of 54 years began.
He served as Lieutenant in the Air Force for five years. After leaving the military, he worked various jobs before he decided that teaching was the career for him. He became a teacher starting with 3rd grade and ended up at Timberline High School teaching Restaurant Hospitality in the DECA program. He started the Custom Catering family business; catering weddings and many other events for years to come. Following retirement, he continued impacting children's lives by working at Head Start.
Ruffus was a selfless man, spontaneously living every day to the fullest. We will miss his grin, his early morning phone calls, his suggestions, never ending support of the underdog, list making, storytelling, and jokes, good and bad, that could brighten any day. He enjoyed cooking, chatting, eating out, fishing, gardening, cruising with Judy, traveling, camping, and vacations with family. Most importantly he loved his family and friends. He proudly enjoyed all sporting events of his children and grandchildren. A lot of his time was spent coaching. You would often find him on the Little League baseball diamond or the Timberline High School football field where he coached. As his grandchildren got older you would find him watching their basketball games, wrestling, little league, or high school football games. He was able to watch all of his grandchildren compete in different sports.
Ruffus also volunteered and contributed to his community wherever he lived: Rotary, Habitat for Humanity, soup kitchens, Kiwanis and others.
He is preceded in death by nephew, Mike Chandler.
He is survived by his wife, Judy, his four children: Patti (Matt) Madison, Don (Sue), Lyle (Panita), and Jolie (Ed); his eight grandchildren: Brenton, Andrew, Alyssa, Zachary, Alex, Charlie, Jack, and Gracie; and his sister Ferna Garouette Hicks ('58); and dachshunds: Max and Mable.
He will be missed by so many. May he rest in peace.
Guest Book online till May 19, 2014