In Memory

Ann Ruff

Ann Ruff, my English teacher for 3 years at Westchester (Freshman, Junior, and Senior years) passed away several years ago. She succumbed to breast cancer in March 1993. She was an author of many Texas travel books. Mrs. Ruff had a profound impact on me. Please add her name to our In Memory page in the Teachers section.

Cindy Harper (Walraven Joor)


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08/18/09 06:35 PM #2    

Pamela Ann Mudd (Conlan) (1973)

I still have my journal from Senior year english class.

10/19/09 10:40 PM #3    

Susan Kathryn Haller (Kucera) (1973)

Ann was one of those rare life-changing teachers. I had her my junior year. She appreciated my brand of humor and encouraged my creativity. We remained friends for years after I graduated. She had lots of parties for her former students. I also still have my journal, as I know many others do. I can still recite most of the prologue to the Canterbury Tales in old English. One part I never memorized and used one of my Love Stickers for that. There was one guy in my class (can't remember his name just now) who never could get into her unique style and was a real sourpuss. Boy, did he miss out on lots of fun!

04/20/10 09:00 AM #4    

Phil Clipper Fry (1970)

I was in Mrs. Ruff's creative writing class my Senior year (1970). We wrote a collaborative novel with each student taking one chapter (inspired by the book "Naked Came the Stranger"). Our nom de plume was "Fran M. Furs", which was an anagram of Mrs. Ann Ruff.

We actually submitted the final draft of our masterpiece, "Lolling Came the Stranger" (our protagonist spent an inordinate amount of time lolling in chains on a dungeon wall), to a literary agent. It was rejected, and the manuscript was returned to us with a nice note to Fran. We wrote the agent again, telling him about the truth behind our project. He was quite amused.

Mrs. Ruff was one of the most memorable and inspiring teachers that I had at Westchester.

10/13/10 05:04 PM #5    

Sarah Jane Mosley (Lau) (1971)

Ann Ruff was simply the best!  She was way ahead of her time!  I will always remember her with great fondness and lots of smiles!

01/01/11 11:47 AM #6    

Kate Merrill Lawrence (Hunnicutt) (1973)

 Ann Ruff was one of the few teachers that I ever felt a connection with in high school...her wacky humor and open mind gave many of us a place where we could feel authentic and appreciated.  She is my model for teaching, and as a teacher of the gifted for 33 years, I hope I have been able to pass along some of Mrs. Ruff's influence to another generation of bright, funny kids. Thanks, Mrs. Ruff!!

03/13/11 03:32 PM #7    

Gayle Elizabeth Johnson (McKenney) (1972)

 If Ann Ruff didn't like you - she could make going to English Class quite uncomfortable. I learned from her to not be that sort of judgmental teacher and to treat all my students with respect. So I guess you could say I did learn something memorable from her.

05/06/11 02:55 PM #8    

Christopher D. Herrington (1971)

 This year I will be retiring from teaching after 33 years.  My junior year in school at WHS, I sat across the hall from Ann Ruff's class.  I have not forgotten a single lesson she taught.  I loved her classes, and I was a student across the hall!

I decided that I would become a teacher like her.  I have loads of ex-student friends, and have preformed many marriages for my students as a minister.  I became a mediator, and I have worked with their families and been to their interventions for drug abuse.  I have been to many rounds of rehab and visited many homes.  This last few years I have even had the student children of my ex-students.

Ann was truly the best teacher I never had, and her memory has lived on in the lives of those thousands I have reached because of her great lessons.  I graduated from Westchester in 1971, and these 40 years later I still talk about her as the singular voice that led me through my profession.  Thank you, Ann, for a wonderful career.

Chris Herrington/aka runningturtle87

Class of 1971

09/15/11 01:28 PM #9    

Steven Paul Haas (1979)

Ann Ruff was my favorite English teacher. I will never forget her. I had her class in the morning right after swim team which began at 4am each day. During class, while we were supposed to be reading, I would sleep!! She let me do this without getting in trouble. Instead of waking me up she would put a note under my face telling me to wake-up and that the bell was getting ready to ring!  She actually said, "wake-up sleepy-head as the class is about over"! She actually did this for me!!! She was a great lady. I was very sad to hear of her passing. She is one of those teachers I will never forget.

03/10/18 04:02 AM #10    

Michael Brandon Stone (1970)

I have to agree with all of the accolades that everyone has written about Ann Ruff.  If I remember correctly, I had her for freshman English at Memorial HS the year before Westchester opened.  She was one of the most memorable and favorite teachers I ever had.  She got me so interested in Greek mythology that I read every book I could find about it.  I believe one of Edith Hamilton's books was required reading, so when I finished it I asked her about more mythology books; she turned me on to books like The Odyssey (one of my favorite books of all time) and The Iliad (one of the hardest books to read that I ever read!).  She seemed to always have time for me after class when I wanted to discuss the books I read.  What a great teacher!

05/12/20 04:45 PM #11    

Darrell Lee Jennings (1971)

Ann Ruff was one of those speical teachers that makes an impact on your life.  She was incredibly good at connecting with her students.  I remember her class as one of my favorites in my school years.  I've stayed in touch with Nita Lou Ellis (Bryant) that sat in front of me in the class and we both think back on Ms. Ruff with love and admiration for the impact she had.  

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