Bailey Hill Ruff

bailey ruff

October 26, 1931 ~ April 13, 2024

Born in: Fort Worth, Texas
Resided in: Arlington, Texas

Bailey Hill Ruff, a beloved storyteller, Arlington Hardware Founder former regional Hanes Hosiery and Buster Brown distributor, passed away peacefully April 13, 2024, while eating breakfast sitting in his favorite chair while looking forward to watching the third day of the Masters Golf Tournament.

Bailey was born October 26, 1931, in Fort Worth, Texas and was a cherished member of the Arlington community, who left behind a legacy of laughter, kindness, and dedication.

Bailey’s entrepreneurial spirit shone brightly as he began his Arlington Hardware business in 1979, following his leaving the partnership with his brother and father in the the regional Hanes Hosiery and Buster Brown clothing distributorship.
How often have we heard him say, “I went from pantyhose to garden hose?”

In the 80s he was affectionately known as “Mr. Firecracker.” Early on, he wanted to help his new community in some way so decided to contribute to its Fourth of July celebration by purchasing for many years Arlington’s Fourth of July fireworks. He and his family dressed in red, white and blue and participated in Arlington’s day-long events—including its famous 4th of July parade.

Bailey’s leadership extended beyond his business endeavors, serving as the president of the Chamber of Commerce and mentoring aspiring business owners with his wealth of knowledge.

A proud graduate of Highland Park High School and the University of Texas in Austin, Bailey was a die-hard UT fan, his loyalty unwavering through victories and defeats.

When UT won a football game, he excitedly dressed entirely in orange and drove to his Kiwanis Club meeting, where he lightheartedly poked fun at any Kiwanis A & M graduates he found.

Bailey’s keen business acumen was matched only by his attention to detail, firmly believing in the maxim, “that which is not inspected deteriorates.”

When Home Depot was about to open a store in Arlington, Bailey scoured the surrounding area newspapers and discovered Home Depot was going to have a big opening sale on certain items. Bailey immediately sent an ad into the local papers touting an Arlington Hardware sale that was giving a much deeper discount on those very items.

Bailey had a love-hate relationship with the Cowboys, but every season he was eager to use his season ticket seats, located directly in front of the cheerleaders, to watch the game. When he could no longer negotiate the stairs, he sat in his favorite chair to watch the game and soon realized he could see and hear so much more of what was happening.

In his leisure time, Bailey enjoyed playing golf and exploring the world, with China being his most fascinating journey.

He found immense joy in music. He had a beautiful voice and when younger was a member of the Texas Boys Choir. He was particularly fond of Frank Sinatra’s timeless melodies and looked forward every year to the opening season of the Fort Worth Symphony’s “Pops Series” and “Broadway at the Bass.”

Bailey was a man of his word, known for his integrity and reliability. His dry wit and sense of humor brought laughter to every room he entered.

Bailey’s family will fondly remember his infectious laughter, his captivating stories, and his ever-present smile. His generous spirit, compassionate heart, and unwavering love will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him. May his memory continue to inspire love, laughter, and kindness in the hearts of those who knew him.

Bailey found his greatest joy is his family, celebrating 24 years of marriage to his beloved wife Connie Snowden Ruff. He is survived by Cynthia Ruff O’Connor, Suzanne Ruff Warner and Robert H Ruff, children of Bailey and his deceased wife Virginia Ann Ruff. He is also survived by stepchildren Darlene Snowden Pilgrim, Cary Edward Snowden and sister Kathleen Ruff McKinney. Bailey leaves behind a legacy carried on by his seven grandchildren and four step grandchildren.

A celebration of Bailey’s extraordinary life will be held at Arlington’s White Room, 2227 West Park Row, Ste. H. from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, 2024.

Though his voice may be silent, his spirit will forever echo in our hearts.


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