Texas Hill Country News

WWII and Korean War Veteran Celebrates His 108th Birthday in Buda

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Tony Maples Photography


Buda resident Eugene Ruf turned 108-years-old on April 19th. Born in 1909, Ruf has lead an amazing life including the time he served in WWII and Korea, earning him the title of Master Sergeant with the Army. KXAN says he was one of the first Americans to ever step foot in communist Russia and on the Great Wall of China.

After serving in the Army, Ruf got his Master’s at Trinity University in San Antonio and worked for SAISD as a school counselor and an ROTC instructor. While he was interviewed by the news, Ruf appeared happy to be celebrating such a monumental birthday. He still enjoys sharing time with his family and friends and telling stories, like the time he met Babe Ruth while he was cutting class one day. (Ruth nicely urged him to keep his priorities straight and to stay in school.)

Readers on KXAN’s Facebook page were quick to wish Ruf a happy birthday and thank him for his service and his great advice. He advises youngsters to “keep your nose clean” and “don’t take any wooden nickels” (meaning, don’t be fooled by shady people.) But apparently he later thought that advice sounded a bit dated, so he changed his answer to keeping a positive outlook on life and “don’t be crabby.”