Brian will be missed
Love you son
I'm at a loss for words. It's been years and years since we've spoken - I always thought we'd eventually reconnect. I considered Brian my best friend from middle school until he moved away from McCook. Great guy, fun to hang out with, and a loyal friend. Went over to his family's house often (they were all great hosts) and watched MTV, played games, and just shot the breeze. At the time I thought we were wasting time - now it seems like one of the smarter ways I've ever spent time. He was a both a good talker and listener, and I never doubted he had my back. One time when we were camping with other friends, I managed to give him a small burn doing something stupid. He forgave me, he was good that way - and it seems he went on to fight fires in the woods. I don't think me burning him had anything to do with him becoming a firefighter, but the fact he was so quick to forgive a friend's stupidity was a sign of the good heart firefighters need. I'm not surprised the guy I knew grew up to be the guy described here. We hadn't spoken for 20+ years, but I miss him, and wish we could have had one more talk. My thoughts are with his family, and the world lost a good one. - Jason Blackwell
Jason, thank you for sharing your memories of Brian. Even though the two of you hadn't talked for some time, I know he thought of you often - whenever we got together and talked about the old times, your name was brought up, along with all the goofy crap you guys did.Regards, Lori (Brian's sister)
Hi Lori - Many thanks for replying. I thought of Brian often as well - and our crap was indeed goofy (that exact term was also used by a friend on facebook today). Pass along all my love and thoughts to your family (tell your Mom she is still "Mom" in my mind). Wish the circumstances were different, but good memories to replay in my head.
There is a gigantic hole in my heart. It is so difficult to understand. I will always remember the good times we had together: working on the ranch, Vegas, and all the hours of long talks. There is no doubt that you are "flying" free like the hawks at the ranch. May you rest in serene peace. Aunt Donna
Great person, great father; all of us will miss you Brian. - The Mortensons
We grew up on east 5th together in mccook. I have so many stories that I could tell... we went camping I think every weekend during school with the crew we adopted as the"outsider" from the movie. We grew and shared a lot. All of us became very close and no matter the time and distance didn't matter. I think about those days often and those were the best days of my life...I believe if you would ask them too they would agree. I wondered thru the neighborhood on Thursday remembering as much as I could. It took three hour to stroll. I am so honored to have a friend like Brian. I am blessed by having the time I did have. Brian sang a song for a contest called "hello my friend" by Neil diamond and always thought of him everytime I heard it. There is so much memories with him.Brian you were an impact on me and I wish I could say it to you. Stay gold my friend cuz you are in my heart. Outsiders forever. Mike simmonds
Miss you Brian, loved your sense of humor, your great walmart emails as well as the other ones....you are and will continue to be missed - without you our group has a hole in it's heart - may God bless you and your family.loveMary
Whenever I get emails from other people (People of Walmart) I do think of Brian; a long with other funny emails. It is hard to not forward to Brian's email (I still and will have his address in my contacts). - Dwayne
Dwayne - I love those emails! I am checking his email frequently, if you want to share "in the spirit of Brian", please feel free!Lori (Brian's sister)
In McCook, funny thing happened while we were out camping with all the guys. There must of been about 8 of us or so. I believe we were freshman in high school. We were all sitting around the fire just talking about life as we knew it at that age. My older brother bought us a pint bottle of schnapps. (each one of us thought we were big stuff and we only got one pull off the bottle then it was gone)still it didnt take the feeling away. Out comes the Lucky Strikes rawbacks..."if you can smoke this, you can smoke anything!"(Dan)Here we all were trying to smoke and taking our one pull from the bottle. LAUGHING, coughing, hacking, laughing, coughing, hacking then saying smmmmoooothhhh and we did that all night. I believe that is how Brian got burned and was so quick to forgive (wink, wink) Anyhow, late into the night someone decided to throw some "rounds" into the fire. Yep, we hid for the next 15 to 30 minutes waiting for the rounds to go off. Only problem was that no one knew how many rounds were thrown in and really how long it would take. We about pissed ourselve laughing at the absolute craziness. One thing Brian always did and you can ask anyone of us. Brian always stop us to watch the sunset. I never forgot that about him. How much he really appreciated the sunset. I Watched it go down tonight my friend and thought of you with a smile. Watch out for those "Wereduck" and "burn dude", never smoke Lucky strikes, and always get a bigger bottle for just one more "round" while looking for that fandango. OUTSIDERS 4EVER. Stay Gold! Mike Simmonds
I did not know Brian personally; however, the wildland fire community is very small and his name came up several times over the past several years. He was well respected in the community and I hear he was a great firefighter. Additionally, I am sure Brian would be proud that the funds from the Brian Ruffing Memorial Wildland Fire Care Fund will to injured or fallen firefighters. I wanted you to know that the fire and aviation community will miss him and we are all very sorry for your family loss. Aaron SchoolcraftAviation Management SpecialistWashington D.C.
It is still hard for me to believe he is gone. I still miss him very much. I knew Brian for 14 years. He was a very good friend and I will miss his laugh. He was the type of friend that would do anything for them. He was always very protective of me. It is hard to find good friends like him. There was a time when i live in Utah and he lived in Vegas. He knew I loved Nascar but he didn't like it. He liked NHRA but because he was such a great friend he went to see the Nascar movie with me in 3D. He put me first and that is something I will never forget. I will cherish all the times I went to Vegas to hang out with him. He will be greatly missed and glad I was able to call him my friend.
I like the sign for Brian's memorial; very nice. -Dwayne
Dwayne, the sign turned out very nice - it's bigger than the picture implies - nearly 3 feet tall! This spring, we will take it out to the family ranch and hang it from the tree where we made Brian's memorial. I think he would like it!Hope all is well with you and yours,~Lori
i did not know this had happened until tyler hayes got ahold of me on facebook and said that brian had passed. how did I come to know brian? I was his neighbor dave Robertson in McCook, ne that he introduced to d and d and so many other things as well. his family own lived in McCook for a short time since his dad worked for marathon oil and it seemed like they moved often. but as fate would dictate I crossed paths with brian and his intro to me in gaming made a profound impact. in reading comments posted I see that brian had affects everywhere he went :)
I cannot believe that it has been a year. We still think of Brian. – The Mortenson family
Brian was probably my best friend in high school. We spent a lot of time riding around in the Matador, smoking Camels and listening to KISS. I think he owned every album they ever made. The first concert I ever went to was with Brian. We saw KISS with Ted Nugent in Kansas City in '88, I think. He was the most responsible and trustworthy person I knew and his family was always kind to me. A truly model family.He was determined to live life on his terms, but never turned his back on his friends.My condolences for your (our) loss.-Tony
We still think of you Brian, me and my family; The Mortenson family