060519 Dawn Ruf retirement sprinkle.jpg

Dawn Ruf sprinkles a student with confetti from her surprise retirement party at Clancy School May 28.

Dawn L. Ruf, 63, of Clancy passed away peacefully on December 21, 2019 with her sisters and close friends by her side. Her beloved Bobcats football team was playing North Dakota State University in the background.

Dawn was born in Dickinson, North Dakota on August 21, 1956 to Doris and Russel Ruf. She joined older siblings Carol, Sharol and Ross and was later joined by Lynn, Casey and Ted. The family moved to Montana in 1959. Dawn attended grade school in Rosebud, Musselshell and Grass Range, Montana. In 1970 she started high school in Thompson Falls, Montana where she met and bonded for life with her three best friends – Roxie Rockwell, Jeanne Cox and Scott Brown. They shared many adventures and special memories over the years. 

Dawn graduated from Montana State University with a degree in Elementary Education and was proud to wear the MSU blue and gold colors. She was a member of the Delta Gamma sorority and the MSU Spurs (Service, Patriotism, Unity, Responsibility, and Sacrifice) National Honor Society. 

Dawn followed her mother, Aunt Dee Fleck and great-aunts Edna and Helen Kono into the education profession. She did her student teaching in Helena, and then accepted a position with Clancy Schools. She remained there as a fourth-grade teacher for 41 years and teaching two generations of students. She was well respected, admired and loved by her students and parents. Her students held a very special place in her heart. She retired from teaching in May, 2019. Dawn was a long-standing member of the Helena, Montana chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma.

Dawn is survived by her sisters Lynn and Sharol and brothers Ross (Kyle) and Ted; niece Laney (Mike) Elmore and nephew Tanner (Michael); great-nieces Nora and Emma and great-nephews Cullen and Lincoln. She also is survived by her beloved and faithful companion, Me. She was preceded in death by her parents, Russel and Doris Ruf, sister Carol and brother Casey. 

A special thank you to her cancer warriors, Sharon, MC and Emily, and her wonderful friends for always being there during her nine-year battle with cancer. Dawn fought a very hard battle with a sunny smile and optimism. She left this earthly world with grace and dignity surrounded by those who loved her. Rest in peace.

A memorial service will be held in the spring when the flowers are awakening to a new dawn. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to God’s Love of Helena, Montana, the Clancy Library or a charity that is special to you.

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SO sad to hear of Dawn's passing. Dawn and I began teaching at Clancy the same year and continued for 10 more years. She was also my daughter's 4th grade teacher. I have wonderful memories for Dawn both in and outside of school.

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