David Charles Ruthruff

December 1, 1944 ~ June 14, 2020 (age 75)


David Charles Ruthruff

David Charles Ruthruff was born in Seattle on December 1, 1944. Raised in Normandy Park, Dave played basketball for Highline High School. He had fond memories of those years, one of his favorites being the time he landed a game-winning shot from half-court. He went on to study economics at the University of Washington where his love of business and Husky sports really flourished. If you had never attended a formal event with him, it's possible you never saw him in anything but purple or gold. An ambitious and intelligent man, Dave truly marched to the beat of his own drum; he never did anything small and rarely cared to explain himself. They would get it eventually, or not, either way he was usually onto the next thing that sparked his interest by then.

In business and in life, Dave knew what he wanted, and he lived for the challenge of attaining whatever that was. In the late 1970's, Dave and his brother teamed up with a group of local entrepreneurs to bring video arcade games to the United States from Japan. They founded Fantasy Amusements, and Dave spent many evenings in his basement counting and rolling the quarters they earned from coin-op games, wondering if they were onto something big this time. A decade and many obstacles later, he founded Digital Music Systems, Inc. ("DMS"). He expanded his services to include new technology in jukeboxes, games, and eventually ATMs in businesses and restaurants across the Pacific Northwest. DMS was a dream realized and a source of purpose and pride for the rest of his life. His employees were family and he took care of them as such.

Dave loved playing golf and was a longtime member of Fairwood Country Club, serving as President in 1999. When he wasn't golfing or playing cards into the wee hours of the morning, he loved fishing, especially in Alaska. After years going up with friends, he brought his daughters along to enjoy the sport together. He also loved fishing in Hawaii. So much so that he built his dream home there, traveling back and forth for over a year to help the builders and get the garden started right away - it had to be fruiting by the time the house was finished. It was his labor of love and he shared it not only with his family but with nearly everyone he knew; friends, employees and their families, even clients and acquaintances. "I built it to share!" he always said. He loved that house, but he loved what it represented more - hard work, humble reward, and priceless memories.

Dave loved his family deeply, and while he may have spent most days off in his own world, conjuring up the next endeavor, he always wanted people around him. He never did anything small because he never really intended to go at it alone. He liked the company, and the feeling was mutual.

Dave died on June 14, 2020. He is preceded in death by his parents, Neil and Katheryn, brothers Cliff and Curtis, twin sister Diane Monahan, and son, Denny. He is survived by his wife, Jeni; his children Tina (and Mahmood) Firoozi, Heather (and Justin) Slack, Kati (and Anthony) Dallosto; 5 grandchildren Yasamine, Majid, Caroline, Turner, and Meyer; sister Doreen Snyder and brother Jerry; beloved dog and best friend, Petey; and over 38 varieties of tomato plants which (true to character) currently take up most of the public sidewalk outside his house on Alki. We will really miss his cheeky smile and wacky habits. We love you, Dave, you're "the best we ever had".

Please share memories of Dave on the Tribute Wall located above.

Arrangements Entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home of West Seattle

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