Rufener, George
Wadsworth, OH

George “Keith” Rufener passed away, peacefully, after a short battle with cancer, on Saturday, December 20, 2014.
He was born on April 26, 1936 in Martins Ferry, OH.
Keith graduated from Rittman High School in 1954. He was accepted into the Goodyear Industrial University as a Machinist and Machine Repairman in 1955, graduating with
state of Ohio Journeyman Certificates in both crafts in 1959. He worked as a Machinist at Goodyear for the next 41 years. He was active in Goodyear Local #2 URW serving as a Representative, Chairman of the Joint Company – Union Apprenticeship Committee, Skilled Trades Negotiating Committee and as a member of the Local #2 Executive Board.
He loved sports, playing baseball and football in High School. He then played softball, basketball and volleyball at Goodyear. Keith organized, coached and played in all 3 sports, including Goodyear’s All-Star Men and Women’s Volleyball Teams .He was awarded the Paul W. and Florence Litchfield Award for Sports, Goodyear’s most coveted award in 1984. He was the Rittman High School’s head girl’s volleyball coach for 12 years, during his career they won the Wayne County Athletic League 5 times. This summer he was inducted into the Ohio State Senior Olympics Hall of Fame as Mr. Volleyball because he has “Done it All”.
He enjoyed traveling to volleyball tournaments, going on cruises, and an annual winter trip to St. Martin.
Keith was also interested in photography, winning many awards. He was a member of Wadsworth Lodge #385 F&AM and a member of the Valley of Canton receiving all of his degrees with his father. Like his father he enjoyed raising flowers, a vegetable garden and caring for a small orchard. Yearly he harvested a lot of potatoes and tomatoes. True to his Swiss roots, he made, drank, and gave away a little wine each year.
He was preceded in death by his wife Dorothy June Newcomer Rufener, and his parents George E. and Amy L. Rufener.
He is survived by his wife Diane West Rufener, son Dr. George Keith Rufener (Marcia) of Indianapolis, IN; daughter Cindy Bennett (J. Andrew) of Fairfax, VA; daughter Rebecca Benya (Mark) of Wadsworth; grandchildren Matthew Rufener; J. Grant and Erin Bennett; and Heather, Katherine, and Ariel Benya; plus many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
The family will receive friends Friday, December 26, 2014 from 2-4 & 6-8pm at the Hilliard-Rospert Funeral Home, 174 N. Lyman Street, Wadsworth where funeral services will be conducted 11:00am Saturday, December 27, 2014 with Pastor Keith D. Hejnal officiating. Interment will be at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens.