Sources include: Detroit Free Press The Detroit News Observer & Eccentric Media / Hometown Weeklies Livingston County Daily Press & Argus

RUFFNER JAMES A. "JIM" a Grosse Pointe Park resident for more than 35 years, a respected science historian and Detroit jazz impresario, died Thursday, May 16, after a brief illness. He was born in Akron, Ohio in 1930, son of Olive (nee Taylor) and Frederick G. Ruffner. Scholarship and jazz went hand-in-hand throughout Ruffner's life. While jazz was his love, Ruffner's profession was scholarship in science history. He was recognized as an expert in Isaac Newton's theories of cosmology. He first organized jazz performances as an undergraduate at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He graduated in 1952 with a bachelor's degree in physics, and served with the U.S. Air Force Air Weather Service until 1956. He earned a master's degree in meteorology from the University of Michigan in 1958, and a doctor's degree in history of science from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana in 1966. Ruffner began his teaching career at a small college in Texas. In 1964 he joined the Wayne State University faculty as a professor in Monteith College. When the university closed Monteith in 1975, he joined the university's science library staff until his retirement in 1996. Ruffner began staging jazz concerts in the Detroit area in 1985, and founded the Jazz Forum based in Grosse Pointe in 1989. Ruffner married the former Trenna D. Edmonson in June 1959. She survives her husband, in addition to their sons, Christopher A. Ruffner (Jennifer) of Greenbelt, Maryland, and Michael E. Ruffner (Margaret) of Mclean, Virginia., grandchildren Matthew and Natalie Ruffner, and brother Frederick G. Ruffner, Jr. of Grosse Pointe. Ruffner's many friends in the jazz community staged a celebration concert in his honor on Sunday afternoon, May 19, at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church in Detroit. A memorial service is scheduled for June 21 at 10:30a.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church Jazz Fund, c/o Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church, 8625 E. Jefferson Avenue, Detroit, MI 48214.

From The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press

  • Your Name
  • Your Email
  • Recipient's Email

Guestbook listing for JAMES A. "JIM" RUFFNER 1

Leave a Comment

Share memories in the guest book. Entries are free and are posted after being reviewed for appropriate content.

No guestbook entries.

Flowers and Gifts

View All

Find Funeral Directors by area

Health Videos