Pat Ruby, retired professional duckpin bowler and constable, dies

Pat Ruby was a founding member in 1960 of the Baltimore Professional Duckpin Bowling League. A Maryland constable, he was assigned to Baltimore City in 1971 and retired in 1993.

Pat Ruby, a retired professional duckpin bowler and constable, died Saturday of heart failure at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson. The longtime Parkville resident was 81.

D.P. Ruby, the son of Sherman Ruby, a grocer, and his wife, Margaret J. Ruby, was born in Baltimore and spent his early years in Irvington and Walbrook, before moving in 1949 with his family to Rose Street in East Baltimore, when his father purchased his grocery store.


“His parents couldn’t agree on a name, so they gave him the two initial ‘D’ and ‘P’ and he later called himself Pat,” said his wife of 52 years, the former Joan Johnson.

Mr. Ruby attended city public schools and later earned his GED diploma.


He was a Maxwell House coffee salesman for General Foods before becoming a Maryland constable assigned to Baltimore City in 1971. He retired in 1993.

A professional duckpin bowler, Mr. Ruby was a founding member in 1960 of the Baltimore Professional Duckpin Bowling League and remained with the organization until 1965.

“He was the youngest member when it started and is thought to be one of the last of the originals still living,” his wife said.

During the 1950s, he was a “stalwart” on the National Bohemian Beer team and wrote a column for the Baltimore Bowler newspaper and handicapping bowlers competing in The Evening Sun tournaments.

Mr. Ruby, whose average was 135 and was ranked sixth in the city, bowled in five Evening Sun tournaments.

“He had many awards for 400 club, 450 sets, all mark games, 165 and 175 games,” his wife said. “He rolled his first 201 game in 1964, and subsequently rolled two more 200 plus games in his career.”

Mr. Ruby was a regular duckpin bowler at Parkville Lanes on Harford Road. He stopped bowling 20 years ago “because of his knees,” Mrs. Ruby said.

He was a coin collector, and an Orioles and Baltimore Colts fan.


He was an active member of Christus Victor Lutheran Church, 9833 Harford Road, Parkville, where funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Ruby is survived by two sons, Kenneth McPherson of Gardenville and Roger McPherson of Sunset Beach, N.C.; a daughter, Kelly Ruby of Parkville; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.