William Russell “Ruff” Ahders

Butte, Silver Bow County, Montana, USA
Death 24 Apr 2009 (aged 67)
Odessa, Ector County, Texas, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 47643484 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Ruff Ahders
Ahders, 67, of Odessa, died April 24, 2009. He received his law degree from the Univerity of Houston Law center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1968. He was an associate of, and later partner in, the Warren Burnnett Law Office from 1968 to 1981. He was a sole practitioner from 1981 until his death. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Paula Ahders;son, attorney Chase Ahders of Los Angeles, Calf.; dauther, attorney London Ahders of Los Angeles; and mother, Helen Ahders

(Texas Bar Journal - November 2009 - p897)


ODESSA After a brief illness, long-time Odessa resident, Ruff Ahders, passed away at his home in Odessa, Texas, on Friday, April 24, 2009.

William Russell Ahders was born in Butte, Mont., on Jan. 23, 1942, the only child of William Bray Ahders and Helen Parsons Ahders. He was nicknamed "Ruff" by his parents, even before they left the hospital, a name many later thought described him quite well. The family soon moved to Midland, Texas, where his Dad completed his service with the FBI and later served as both City and County Judge. After completing high school in Midland, Ruff continued his education with a scholarship to Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., a place where, as he liked to reflect, he was sent with only a bicycle. After working in the oilfield only one summer, he vigorously pursued his legal education at Bates College of Law, Houston, Texas. In 1968, he began his law career with another illustrious Odessa lawyer, Warren Burnett. He quickly developed a low-key style of courtroom decorum that served his clients well.

In May, 198l, Ruff opened his own law firm, Ruff Ahders, Associated, with two employees, his wife, and their life savings. By the mid to late 1980s, his practice had expanded so quickly that he had to add space to his building and members to his staff. He chose to remain a sole practitioner specializing in personal injury law. He tried a record number of cases in Texas in 1986, and always claimed that putting him in the courtroom was like "throwing Brer Rabbit in the briar patch."

While trial law was his self-described fun, he was generous with his talent, time and monetary support. He shared his legal talents with those whose needs would otherwise not have been met, and was there for many young lawyers trying to get started. He was a long-time director of the Texas Trial Lawyers' Association, a Fellow of the Texas Bar Association, and held membership in numerous bar associations.

Ruff's interests were slanted strongly toward young people. In 1993, he and his wife, Paula, co-founded Harmony Home, an agency that serves abused children in this area. He also was instrumental in establishing Odessa's YMCA. He served on its Board and utilized its exercise facilities frequently. He also served on the board of Head Start, a program designed to benefit children. He mentored countless numbers of young people and provided part-time jobs, scholarships, and financial support to any number of local causes.

Ruff and his family enjoyed homes at Lake Sweetwater and in Vail, Colo., but maintained that Odessa was his home and their friends here were too important to consider living anywhere else. He was a history buff, an avid reader, and enjoyed the company of his friends and family during many friendly games of golf. While Ruff spent a lifetime trying to live up to the tough image implied by his name, family and friends and a host of former clients will remember the warm-hearted, kind and caring support he provided to those who knew him well.

Ruff is survived by Paula Whipple Ahders, his wife of 39 years; and by his two favorite lawyers, son, William Chase Ahders, and daughter, London Leigh Ahders. Chase and his wife, Erin, reside in Pacific Palisades, Calif., with five-year old twin sons, William Scott and Nolan Ruff, and two-year old, Wyatt Bray. London also resides in Pacific Palisades. Also surviving Ruff is his mother, Helen Ahders, of Midland, his dad having predeceased him in 1998.

Memorial services to celebrate Ruff's life will be held at First United Methodist Church on Tuesday, April 28, 2009, at 11 a.m. with Rev. Terry Tamplen and Donnie Williams officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Harmony Home of Odessa, the CASA of the Permian Basin, the Odessa YMCA, or any charity of your choice. On line condolences may be made at www.mem.com.

Services are entrusted to Frank W. Wilson Funeral Directors.
Published in Odessa American on Apr. 28, 2009 - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/oaoa/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=126635790#sthash.gGMgqqjd.dpuf

Sponsored by Ancestry


See more Ahders memorials in:

Sponsor and Remove Ads


  • Created by: Sue Fitzpatrick
  • Added: 5 Feb 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 47643484
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Russell “Ruff” Ahders (23 Jan 1942–24 Apr 2009), Find a Grave Memorial no. 47643484, ; Maintained by Sue Fitzpatrick (contributor 47088541) Unknown.