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Joseph Baltazar Ruf

Made as a demonstration piece on my small Mirrix loom.

“My grandfather Joseph Baltazar Ruf was born in 1913 in Erie, Pennsylvania. He was a first generation American. His family came to America from Germany to help build and maintain the canals and railroads. Since he was a child he traveled with his father, uncles and grandfather to the job sites in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. He grew up in the bricklayer and mason trades. As an adult he joined the local union in Erie, Pennsylvania as a bricklayer.


My grandfather was drafted into the United States Navy in the spring of 1944. He was 31 years old with a wife, three small daughters and one on the way. We believe he was sent for basic training in Rhode Island. There he was assigned to a ship called the USS Aegir, a submarine tender.

After a year, my grandfather was assigned to the USS Bushnell, which traveled back to San Diego, California between September 1st to October 15th. My grandfather was discharged from the US Navy October 19th, 1945 in Sampson, New York.   

He never spoke of his service during World War II. Everything I know of his service history is from research. My grandfather is a superhero to me for other memories. I remember my mother taking us to the construction sites to watch my grandfather work.  Many times I saw him toss cinder blocks up to a man on a ladder or scaffolding. He was always covered in masonry dust head to toe, his boots, clothes, and hard hat.”

~ Granddaughter, Pamela Lawrence Carney

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