Earl John Rufibach, 86, went to heaven on March 25, 2018, in Glendale. He grew up in Johnson City, NY, graduating in 1951 from New York State Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences in Binghamton. In January 1961, he married Marian Schink. They lived in Cicero, NY, until IBM transferred him to Glendale in 1962.
After joining the First United Methodist Church of Glendale, Mr. Rufibach participated in services, served as an officer on many committees, represented the church at the Desert Southwest Annual Conference, was a Lay Leader, and frequently played his trumpet during service and in the church band. He became a New York Life agent in 1969 and earned his CLU designation in 1977. His accomplishments included Agent of the Year (1977), the National Sales Achievement Award (1975, 1980, 1987), Agent of the Month, Executive Council, Quality Council, Star Club and Top Club. He retired in 1996, but continued to service clients until 2013 (44 years total).
He was a longtime member of Kiwanis, Glendale Chamber of Commerce, West Valley Association of Life Underwriters and the Freemasons. His hobbies included playing his trumpet, performing in bands, photography, and playing golf. For many years, he rang the bell for the Salvation Army at Christmas.
Mr. and Mrs. Rufibach traveled in their Volkswagen campmobile when their two children were young. They eventually traveled the U.S. and Canada in their Toyota motorhome. During retirement, they visited Alaska, Hawaii, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Scandinavia.
After returning from a trip, Mr. Rufibach frequently presented slide shows to local organizations and communities, including Waymark Gardens. When his wife passed away in 2013 after 53 years of marriage, Mr. Rufibach moved to Glencroft Senior Living in Glendale, where he enjoyed his remaining life.
He is survived by his daughter, Laurel Powell (Ernest) of Glendale; son, Daryl (Laura) of Lynnwood, Wash.; grandchildren, Benjamin Powell, Jared Powell and Rachel Rufibach; brother-in-law, William Schink (Susan) of San Manuel; sister-in-law, Dorothy Quinly (Robert) of Fruitland, Ind.; nephews, Robert Gaza (Kimberly) of Longview, Texas, Thomas Gaza (Teresa) of Wichita, Kan., Ronald Gaza of Phoenix and Adam Peterson of Anchorage, Alaska; nieces, Tamara Robison (Sam) of Middleton, Ind., Sheryl Lindenmuth (Gary) of Cogan Station, Pa., and Kristi Wickstrom (Justin) of Homer, Alaska.
Donations in Mr. Rufibach’s name should be made to The Salvation Army or Glencroft Senior Living in Glendale. Memorial service is 10:30 a.m. May 26 at First United Methodist Church of Glendale, 7102 N. 58th Drive.