Elizabeth Moore Ruffin passed from this world following an acute illness at Duke Raleigh Hospital on January 29, 2015.
Miss Moore was born in Raleigh, NC on November 4, 1931 to Samuel Ruffin and Lucy Catherine Moore Ruffin. She had two siblings, James and Forester. Both of her brothers died at a young age. Her father died when Miss Ruffin was a youth. Her mother and she lived together with her mother’s sister, Albertine Moore. After the death of her mother on February 21, 1964, Miss Elizabeth Ruffin lived with her Aunt Albertine and was a regular visitor to the home of her uncle, Bart F. Moore and his wife, Olivia Raney Cowper Moore. They had no children of their own and Miss Ruffin was like a child to them.
Elizabeth Moore Ruffin attended Peace College for her high school education. She was a patroness and supporter of Peace College all of her life. There she made friends including Betsy Johnson Shaw of Raleigh, who remained her life-long friend. It was Peace College visitors who found Miss Ruffin very ill in her home and assisted her to seek medical attention. That visit saved her life from triple pneumonia.
Ms. Ruffin attended Christ Episcopal Church as a child and young woman. In her later years she was a dedicated member of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church where she was known for her faithful attendance.
During her lifetime, Miss Ruffin was generous to charitable causes. The variety of causes ranged from $ 25.00 to feed hungry children on Indian reservations to generous sponsor of North Carolina’s presence at Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. She maintained her generous giving over forty years managing large volumes of mail by hand and by herself.
Elizabeth Moore Ruffin was the recipient of strong family traditions. In her later years her home was maintained to honor those family traditions and values. She lovingly cared for pictures, papers, books, and portraits of family members going back for several generations on both the Ruffin and Moore sides of her family. The papers of her very famous great- grandfather, B. F. Moore of Raleigh during the Civil War were given to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill’s Davis Library’s Southern Historical Collection with enough funding to ensure that the collection would be archived by scholars using computerized research techniques.
Miss Ruffin’s knowledge of her family’s history was profound, passionate and accurate. She recited lineage connections and personal stories to enliven the memory of her ancestors in the Moore, Ruffin, Crudup and Boddie families. The walls of her home have portraits of women and men in her family who had become famous for their service to the State of North Carolina. Her great- grandmother, Lucy Williams Boddie Moore, has a stained glass window dedicated to her at Christ Episcopal Church in Raleigh. A portrait of her great- grandmother, painted in oils in the late 1800’s, has hung in her dining room for decades. In her living room there hung for decades two oil portraits over two hundred years old of her great-grandfather and great-grandmother, Henry John Gray Ruffin (born 1782) and Mary Polly Tartt, his wife. Major Ruffin was a soldier in the War of 1812 and a legislator in one of the first legislatures of the State of North Carolina, free of British rule.
Miss Ruffin was gifted with a love of music. She had an acute ear and great appreciation of music. She was a faithful patron of the North Carolina Symphony. She enjoyed the Opera Company of North Carolina, the Carolina Ballet, the Master Chorale and the Raleigh Chamber Music Society.
Saint Timothy’s Episcopal Church, 4523 Six Forks Rd, Raleigh, will hold a funeral service and celebration of her life at 12 noon, Tuesday, February 3, 2015. Her burial will follow in the Moore family section in Historic Oakwood Cemetery.
In the last decade of her life, Miss Ruffin expressed often her appreciation of the care and concern provided to her by companions, caregivers, and friends at home, at outside occasions, and at medical appointments. She freely and graciously acknowledged in the latter years that the quality of her life had risen steeply due to their loyal help and care.
Her final arrangements are being handled by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 St. Mary’s Street, Raleigh.