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.
Thirty years ago, there were hundreds of duckpin bowling lanes scattered along the East Coast, scores right here in the Baltimore area. The sport was something of a Baltimore obsession. Today, all but a handful of those lanes are gone. But there are signs of life in duckpin land — including renovations to Baltimore's Patterson Bowling Center, and hopes for a new duckpin alley/bar in a Hampden basement.
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.