Barbara "Bobbie" Ruff King
June 30, 1932 - April 10, 2017
Sunday, May 28, 2017 11:58 AM
Mothers Day without…
I’ve had a difficult time sharing the very personal loss of my mom in a public venue like Facebook. I don’t reach out for help easily and it didn’t feel organic to me.
However, having lost her on April 10, I have had some time to grieve, try to embrace the empty space and reflect on the last 7 months with my mom. I feel I should let more people who knew her, know of her passing.
I hope that they will visit Legacy.com and sign her Memory book and leave a memory or story about her. Hope it has humor involved because that’s the way “Bobbie” would like it!
My mom, Barbara Ruff King ( Bobbie ) has been battling and then living with Stage 4 metastatic Cancer for over 6 years. She has suffered from COPD also for many more years than that.
She went into the hospital in early October having had a severe exacerbation of COPD. After 23 days, she was transferred to a rehab facility by reluctant doctors who thought she should go straight to Palliative care or Hospice. She insisted she was going to rehab! She did well for a few weeks and then had a mini stroke, we think due to negligence. She fought her way back to talking, eating and walking but eventually after 37 days, we were told she had leveled off and would need to be transferred to long-term care. Having watched the care she was getting, sometimes for 7 and eight hours a day, I decided to bring her home, with Hospice, where she could be with her 3 dogs and her daughter. For the remainder of her days, she would not lay in a nursing home bed not receiving help because some dementia/ Chemo brain caused her to forget to ask for it. Home, where the surroundings and food were familiar and where no strangers were walking down her hallway. Where I could get her back on her own schedule surrounded by her paintings, antiques and dolls.
For years I had tried to get my mom to move to MD, but she wouldn’t budge from Winston-Salem. *Her roots were too deep. She inherited the family home that had housed 3 generations of Ruffs. She and 2 other siblings were born in the room she slept in. My son Gabriel has lived with her for 2 years now while going to UNCSA, making him the 5th generation to live there.
My mom was:
Way ahead of her time
Funny and oozed sarcasm
Good with a carving knife and a paint brush
Carver of 3 violins, one for each of her children. She finished 2 of them. Guess who has to assemble and finish the last one?
A restorer of antique oil paintings, wedding gowns and fire damaged art
Owner and operator of The Wood Valley Art Shop, a picture Framing shop and gallery
President of the PPFA for several years
A woman who raised 3 kids as a single mom at a time when that just wasn’t done
Some one who made it through Hell and back a few times
Amazing with English and grammar
A competitive horse back rider in her youth
A lover of animals. Had a monkey and a squirrel as a kid and always, dogs and parrots
Not a cat person but also owned 2 cats along the way
Sang Bass for The Sweet Adelines
Was neat in her work. Wore white pants and never was mussed while framing pictures in a messy shop
Smoked cigarettes like an old movie Star
Graduated from Salem College when she was 66 years old
Was invited to study abroad at Oxford
Was quite the world traveler
A good writer and wrote volumes on tiny pieces of paper
Never relied on a man after her divorce from our father
Only regretful that she would have been a better mom if she hadn’t had to be dad too
Started a play about her family. Guess who has to finish it?
Loved a good joke and could tell one too
Loved to dance the shag
Had a deep infectious laugh
A great story teller
Loved a Mercedes
Had taste way above her income but managed to make her home look like a museum
Was good at robbing Peter to pay Paul
Loved handmade Turkish rugs
Liked B&B but drank cheap beer
Was never overweight and dressed well
Never fussed about her hair. She was lucky it was naturally full and wavy
Had very strong and lovely hands and fingernails she used to open packages with
Was extremely brave and had a high tolerance for pain
Was an excellent patient but didn’t want to talk about death
Never complained near the end
Her pain when asked about it, was always tolerable
Always amused her nurses and visitors
Was the best mother we could ever have, but rolled her eyes like we were nuts when we told her that
A gal who laughed no matter how dour the situation
An artist whose talents were passed down to all 3 of my kids
A courageous spirit who will always live on through her children
My best friend
Kristan King Lewman (W-S, NC)
Sunday, April 30, 2017 8:10 PM
Lots of memories of you, Bobbie, and you'll be missed by many. I'll always remember the many times I came to the shop and ended up having a wonderful visit with you there and when we first met in the early '70's. Loved the picture of you and Don. My condolonces to your family at this time.
Jane Olmsted (Winston Salem, NC)
Sunday, April 30, 2017 12:00 PM
God bless the soul of my dear friend who will be missed and remembered every day...No longer in our life to share,
but in our hearts, you're always there.
Peace and comfort to her family.
Ellyn Potter (Clemmons, NC)
Sunday, April 30, 2017 11:04 AM
Our hearts are with you today, as we celebrate dearest Bobbie...
The Richard Chew Family (San Francisco, CA)