Art Ruff

The District Five office honors the life and work of Art Ruff, who joined the District Five staff at the end of April 2006 after a laudable 33-year career with the Pima County Department of Health. Art died suddenly on Aug. 12, 2006. He was only 57. We miss him profoundly.

"Art was a dedicated public servant and a good father," said Supervisor Elías. "He was someone who believed we all could live a better life by working together."

Art was a joy to work with because he had a heart of gold and he had a marvelous sense of humor. He also was highly intelligent and had an encyclopedic knowledge of the Health Department and of community health issues that dated to more than three decades. He was a wonderful friend and a very wise adviser. He was a loving father.

Art cannot be replaced. But in the short time he was here, we learned very much from him and we will use the wisdom he imparted to us to provide the best possible service we can to the residents of District Five and Pima County.

It was January 1973 when Art landed a job with Pima County in what then was called the Rabies Control Division of the Health Department. He moved up the ranks to become director for many years of what now is the Animal Care Center, and then was put in charge of Health Department Administration for the final years of his long tenure.

A native Tucsonan, Art graduated from Palo Verde High School and went to Arizona Western College on an athletic scholarship. A knee injury ended his football playing days and he enrolled in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam Conflict.

Football, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and a weekly poker game with his cronies were among Art's extra-curricular activities. But his primary passion in retirement - he worked only part-time in the District Five office - was golf. Every weekend he headed for the links to play as many rounds as he could squeeze in. He died of a heart attack as he was about to tee off at a golf course in Prescott.

Art is survived by a son, Alex, and a daughter, Danielle, whom he loved dearly. He was on the phone with one or the other or both of them almost every day he was in the office - giving them advice, offering them help, encouraging them in their endeavors.

Art's longtime boss at the Health Department, Dennis Douglas, said: "All of us will remember Art as a man of principle, a man of conviction and a man of integrity. The loss of Art leaves a hole in our hearts."

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Supervisor Richard Elías

Pima County, Arizona
District 5

130 W. Congress St. 11th Fl.
Tucson, AZ 85701

Phone: (520) 724-8126
Fax: (520) 884-1152


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