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Rufus A. Aker

1927 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Aker, Rufus A.
Rufus Alexander Aker, "Rufe", 88, peacefully passed away May 17, 2016. Rufe was born on August 29, 1927, in Trousdale, Oklahoma to C.T. "Bill" Aker and Lucille Aker. He was the oldest of three siblings and proud to be a descendant of the Potawatomi Indian tribe. The dust bowl brought the family to Visalia, California where Bill was a cotton farmer and Rufe grew up excelling in sports in school. In June of 1945, Rufe enlisted in the US Navy. He proudly served on the U.S.S. Comfort in the Pacific. During his service, he met Robert Epperson who became a true friend when he introduced Rufe to his sister, Joyce, who became the love of Rufe's life and his wife. Married in 1948, the couple lived in Visalia where Rufe began a lifelong career in the cotton industry with Anderson Clayton, starting as a cotton gin bookkeeper. Rufe and Joyce had three daughters, Susan, Gail and Carrie in Visalia and in 1965 moved the family to Phoenix, AZ. Rufe quickly moved up the management ladder with Anderson Clayton to become President in 1983. He retired in 1992. Rufe helped to create scholarships for agriculture students in California and worked with the Colorado River Indians to establish a cotton gin. He served on the National Cotton Council of America in various positions including director. Rufe was an avid golfer and member of the Phoenix Country Club. He enjoyed many fishing trips with his buddies and playing poker in the evenings. Rufe loved teaching his daughters and grandchildren the fine art of card playing. In his later years, Rufe loved playing gin rummy in the card room at the country club. The family spent many wonderful times vacationing in Laguna Beach and Flagstaff. Rufe was always a gentleman, kind, generous and compassionate. His greatest love was his wife, Joyce for 68 years and his family. He delighted seeing his grandchildren and great-grandchildren playing in the backyard. Rufe is survived by his wife, Joyce, daughters Susan Klecka, Gail Creasman (Chuck), and Carrie Adams (Kevin); grandchildren Amy Hearn (Brad), Christopher Klecka (Kristin), Nate Adams (Alexandra), Kelly Jensen (Nate), Emily Creasman and Rebecca Hogan (Kevin); great-grandchildren Andy and Ava Hearn, Ashlyn, Reid and Beau Klecka, Maddie and Micah Jensen, Connor and Kate Hogan and Ellie Adams. Rufe is also survived by his sister, Christine Divine of Visalia, his brother, Jack Aker of Scottsdale and numerous nieces and nephews. Visitation Friday May 20, 2016 from 6 to 8 pm at A.L Moore Grimshaw Mortuary 710 W. Bethany Home Rd., Phoenix. Services, Saturday May 21, 2016 at 10 am at the Mortuary. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to a . For condolences please visit www.almoore-grimshaw.com
Published in The Arizona Republic from May 19 to May 20, 2016
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