Hermann, Mo. AND Bangor , ME
- It is with great sadness that Scott Ruffner's family and friends share the news that Scott died unexpectedly from a heart-related condition, on May 29, 2017, in Missouri. Scott was an energetic and passionate person, and had a unique joie de vivre, with a humorous sense of the absurd. He loved to bring people together to discuss national, state and local politics; his family and farm in Missouri, German wines and his various projects.
Born in Columbia, Missouri, Scott lived and worked on the family farm near the small town of Bay for many years, and began working the farm at age 15. In recent years, he traveled regularly to Germany to spend time with his best friend and partner Christiane Duespohl, of Freiburg, and she regularly traveled to Bangor and Missouri as well. Over the past year, he was also excited about his plans to host a large total solar eclipse party for his friends and family in Missouri, in August.
Scott received a BA degree in German from the University of Missouri (Columbia), and he spoke German fluently. He moved to Maine in 1983 with his former long-term partner, Naomi Jacobs of Bangor, and began to sell real estate about 10 years later. He was an avid sailor, and a member of the Penobscot Cruising Club. He loved to invite friends to join him in sailing from the Hampden Marina to Belfast and the Penobscot Bay.
Scott was involved in many groups and causes, ranging from Maine Veterans for Peace and the Peace and Justice Center in Bangor, to the local Democratic Party in Penobscot County, and he was a member of the Maine Democratic State Committee for many years. He was also a delegate at the 2008 National Democratic Convention, and worked hard in the recent Maine efforts to implement rank choice voting. Scott's friend Par Kettis describes him: "He had the great combination of being aware of the political problems of our time and wanting to discuss them, also having ideas about how to solve the problems, and was finally prepared to do something active about it. Scott was much admired and liked by many people. We will long remember his kindness, honesty, concern for all people, especially those less privileged; and his preparedness to stand up for what he believed in."
Scott also loved music and poetry, and the German language. He did extensive research on the local history of Hermann, Missouri, and the German migration to Hermann in the 1800's. It was his dream to establish a museum on Bay's and Hermann's local heritage in the former Bay Mercantile store and post office building, which he bought for this purpose. He hoped to recruit both people and funding to make this a reality, and this restoration project is still ongoing.
He is survived by his mother, Leora (Buschmann) Ruffner Scheer; brother, Robert Ruffner; sisters, Christine Ruffner and Martha (Scheer) Melsha; brother-in-law, Jeffrey Melsha; nephews, Bernard Bingham and Jacob Melsha; and niece, Olivia Melsha; and his beloved long-term partner of several years, Christiane Duespohl of Freiburg, Germany. He was predeceased by his father, Wallace C. Ruffner; and stepfather Alfred Scheer.
In addition to a family service in Missouri in August and a service in Freiburg, Germany, there will be a local service and celebration of Scott's life on Sunday, July 23, at the Sea Dog in Bangor, at 2 p.m. followed by a reception. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in his memory either to Veterans for Peace 003, Jim Harney Chapter (c/o Al Larson, 30 Orono Landing Rd., Orono, ME 04473) or to the Ruffner family, to support their efforts to fulfill Scott's dream of restoring the historic Bay Store building (donation checks made out to Robert Ruffner, and sent to Robert Ruffner, c/o MRs. Leora M. Scheer, 2331 Hwy 100, Hermann, MO 65041.)
Published on  June 20, 2017