William Ruffin

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 4, 2010

SUFFOLK — William “Bill” Ruffin, 88 years old, went from labor to reward on March 2, 2010 at Sentara Obici Hospital, Suffolk, Va., after a brief illness.
He was born March 3, 1921 in Jackson, N.C., the son of the late Annie and Linwood Ruffin. He attended public schools and was a member of Boones Chapel in Jackson, N.C. During World War II, Bill served in the U.S. Army from September 1942 to January 1946 as a Private First Class, 1519th Engineers Water Supply Company receiving an honorable discharge. He received a Victory Medal, EAMET Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Campaign Medal with two Bronze Stars, and Philippine Liberation Campaign Medal with one Bronze Service Star. He saw service in Manila, Japan, New Guinea and Guadalcanal.
He worked for the Norfolk Naval Base, retiring after 33 years of service. He was a prolific reader, a world and Biblical history buff and a great storyteller. Every family trip and visit was a history lesson. He enjoyed telling his children about his upbringing and the many adventures and challenges he experienced serving in a segregated Army. He would have us on the edge of our seats as he told every detail of how he courted our Mom. In his younger years, he enjoyed fishing and small game hunting. He and our Mom left to their children a legacy of integrity, hard work, service, and unconditional love for each other.
In February 1945 he married Dorothy Lee Cherry Ruffin, who predeceased him.
He will be missed by his four daughters: Anna Ruffin, of Suffolk, C. Diane Ruffin and
Leola (Charles) McPhee, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y, and Annie Boulding, of Austin, Texas; six sons: William “Pete” (Diana), of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Kenneth, of Newburgh, N.Y., Julius (Vivian), of Suffolk, Va., Al Ray (Linda), of Pompano Beach, Fla., Percy (Sharon), of Virginia Beach, Va. and Wesley (Lois) Read, of Baltimore, Md.; sisters-in-law: Doris Brown and Sarluta (Charles) Davis, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. and Ella Dora Ruffin, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; brothers-in-law: Hollis (Rose) Cherry and Bernard (Virginia) Cherry, of Rich Square, N.C. Additional survivors include 14 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, four great-great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He was predeceased by two brothers, George and Harold Ruffin, and four sisters, Hazel Walden, Mamie Pope, Alice Mae Watford, and Kathleen Harris.
Visitation will be Saturday, March 6, 2010 from 11 a.m. to noon. with the homegoing services to be held at noon at Bethlehem Christian Church, 312 Bute St., Suffolk, Va. with Emanuel Myrick Jr. officiating, followed by full military honors. Burial will be in the Meadowbrook Cemetery. Arrangements by Crocker Funeral Home, 900 E. Washington St., Suffolk, VA 23434.
To sign the guest book or to send the family online condolences, please visit www.crockerfuneralhome.com or call 757-539-7443 or fax 757-934-1093.

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