David Joseph Rufkahr,61, who played the simple country...


April 26, 1996

David Joseph Rufkahr,61, who played the simple country bumpkin Frank Bartles in the popular Bartles & Jaymes wine cooler ads, died after an apparent heart attack Tuesday in Bend, Ore.

Many people believed he and his TV partner owned the company they promoted, although they didn't. In fact, Mr. Rufkahr -- a cattle rancher in real life who got the advertising job through a talent search -- once admitted that the only time he tasted the flavored wine drink was at a party thrown by Gallo Winery to introduce the product in 1985.

The ads ran through 1991, teaming Mr. Rufkahr's talkative Frank Bartles with Dick Maugg's stone-faced Ed Jaymes.

They were hugely successful and their tag line delivered by Mr. Rufkahr, "And thank you for your support," became a popular saying.

Retired Brig. Gen. Ralph W. Cooper Jr.,90, who was the chief engineer in the design of Jacksonville International Airport, died Saturday in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Pub Date: 4/26/96

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