Cover photo for William Ruark, Jr.'s Obituary
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William Ruark, Jr.

September 27, 1948 — December 12, 2018

William Ruark, Jr.

William Alvin "Buddy" Ruark Jr., 70, of Cambridge, Maryland passed away on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at his home with his loving family by his side.

He was born September 27, 1948 in Cambridge, MD to Alice Rebecca Bandy and William Alvin Ruark Sr. Buddy was raised in the Neck District with his sister Carol Messick (Richard) and brother Joseph Terry Ruark.

Buddy was from a long line of watermen, and his first love was the Chesapeake Bay and her tributaries.  Buddy began working the water at age 13 when he rented a boat and began crabbing. He attended Hudson school and later moved to Cambridge with his family where he attended Cambridge Middle and High School. Though he had tried other professions along the way, he had always found his way back to the water and his first love which he continued until he was no longer physically able, spending his last years crabbing with his son Todd at his side.

After high school, he met his true love, Joy Russ, who says “I chased him until he caught me.” Buddy and Joy married in October 1970 and began their family with daughter Laura (Erik Anderson) and son Todd (Ashley Grant). Buddy stated that fatherhood changed his wild ways and once his little girl wrapped her finger around his, he was wrapped around hers. He always made sure that his children had whatever they needed, and when possible, whatever they wanted as well.

In 1984, he met the other woman: a beautiful 42’ dead rise boat named the Bay Mistress. Custom built by his Uncle, Robert Ruark, and Cousin, Joe Ruark, the Bay Mistress was where he spent the majority of his time when not at home. Buddy worked the long, hard hours of a dedicated waterman to provide for his family, knowing that he had a strong partner in his wife Joy to hold down hearth and home while he was away. He often rode out the storms and hurricanes with the Bay Mistress, knowing that doing so would protect his family long after the storms had passed.

Buddy treasured things that last, such as his 48 year marriage, his well-built boat, and his 30 year old Ford truck. However, his greatest pleasure was the love and legacy of his grandchildren: Jacob, Luci, Caleb, Codi, and Cori, who each brought him great joy and pride over the last years of his life.

Buddy is survived by a special Aunt, Nora Ann Hubbard of Secretary, who was more like a sister to him, Uncle Kelly and wife Ellie Bandy, and Aunt Lorraine Myers, both of West Virginia, and nieces Abby Messick, Carol Lee Peterson, and nephew John Russ, as well as several cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents, brother, as well as several aunts and uncles.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, December 16, 2018 from 2-4 p.m. in the back room of Madison Bay Restaurant.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Buddy’s name can be made to Coastal Hospice Foundation, P.O. Box 1733 Salisbury, MD 21802 or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

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