Edward G Ruoff

Edward Ruoff

Father, husband, son, WWII veteran (USMC), Foreign Service Officer, historian, athlete, writer and active stamp collector, humanitarian, Edward G. “Jay” Ruoff passed away after a long illness on January 3, 2021.  Known for his passion for history, music, basketball - he kept stats on his favorite team (Cleveland Cavaliers), he could shoot hoops and dance nearly to the end of his life, and deep love of his grandchildren.  His playful side and his hearty laugh put everyone at ease.  He was quick with a smile and a hug, and his hand shakes were legendary. He was truly one of a kind.


He was preceded in death by his first wife of 52 years, Mona Lee (Hohman) Ruoff (1930-2003), his daughter, Kim Ruoff Lyon Hallinan (1955-2003), and his second wife, Anna (Meyn) Allen Ruoff (1926-2019). He is survived by his daughters Lees V. Ruoff, Jamie L. (Ruoff) Strong, Claire S. (Ruoff) Karaz, his sons-in-law J. Howard Strong and Suleyman Karaz, his grandchildren Dale E. Strong, Jaena D. (Strong) Coit (Andrew R. Coit), Tess R. Hallinan, and Tayga A. Karaz.


Jay Ruoff was born in Mt. Healthy (Cincinnati), Ohio on January 26, 1926 to Clara M. (Hader) and Edward G. Ruoff.  He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during WWII in the South Pacific and China.  After the war he earned a bachelor’s degree in History at Ohio University (Athens, Ohio) in 1949 and a Master’s degree in Modern European History from Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY) in 1951.  Later in his career in 1968, he earned his 2nd Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.


He married his college sweetheart, Mona Lee Hohman, in 1951, at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, then after graduating with his Masters from Syracuse they moved to Washington, D.C. and he joined the Pentagon as a civilian. He later took the Foreign Service exam, passed it, and joined the U.S.Department of State and served in the Foreign Service. Jay later joined the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) within the Department of State. He and his wife and 4 daughters (Lees, Kim, Jamie and Claire) were posted in Karachi, Pakistan (1957-1960), Le Havre, France (1960-1963), Saigon, Vietnam (1963-1965), Vientiane, Laos (1965-1968), Chapel Hill, NC USA (1968-1969), Ankara, Turkey (1969-1971), Saigon, Vietnam (1973-1975) and Bamako, Mali (1975-1977). His final post was in Washington, D.C. at the USAID Bureau of African Affairs (1977-1981). 


In 1968 while in Chapel Hill, NC, he and Mona bought a home in Mona’s home town, Peninsula, Ohio (near Akron), which became ‘home base’ when the family was home on leave from overseas.  He and Mona retired in 1981 and moved into the house on Center Street. In 1985, they bought an old Victorian house (‘Centennial House’) which they successfully ran as a B&B until 1998.  During that time Jay served as Mayor of Peninsula (two terms), he was a member of the Cuyahoga Valley Civil War Round Table for a number of years. During retirement, he wrote 7 books, and he played basketball on a Silver League Basketball team (Summit County) until he was 80 years old.  He was also an avid philatelist - his stamp collecting started at age 9 and continued until he was 92.


After Mona died, he married his high school sweetheart (who was also widowed), Anna (Meyn) Allen Ruoff (1926-2019), where they then moved to an independent living housing development in Sheffield Village, Ohio. He lectured on a variety of topics from the US Civil War to international relations and politics for the Lorain County Community College Extended Education series. He stayed busy with LCCC until 2018. 


In February, 2020, Jay’s daughters, Lees and Jamie, moved him to Houston, Texas where he could be closer to them and family and they could visit often, luckily just prior to the pandemic closing down everything. We are so very thankful for the Wesleyan Village Assisted Living in Elyria, Ohio where he and Anna lived prior to Anna’s death and to Atria Westchase Senior Living (Assisted Living) in Houston where Jay lived prior to his death.


Due to the pandemic, a memorial service is not planned at this time and will be announced at a later date.  The family requests that all remembrances be sent to the attention of Carnes Funeral Home, 1102 Indiana Street, South Houston, TX 77587. In lieu of flowers, please feel free to make donations to The Smile Train, Doctors Without Borders, Care, UNICEF Planned Parenthood or the charity of your choice in his name.