Samuel James “Jimmy” Ruffin,
94, the widower of Vera Cole Ruffin, went home to be with the Lord, Sunday,
February 5, 2017 at his residence.
Mr. Ruffin was born the
son of Thomas Edmonson Ruffin and Anna Belle Tomlinson Ruffin on December
30, 1922 in Lake City. He was a graduate of Olanta High School and
attended The Citadel. He was a World War II Army Veteran. He
played shortstop for the Lake City Truckers – a semi-pro team. Jimmy
stated, “I worked 6 days a week at Tomlinson Groceries and played baseball
7 nights a week. And I got paid to play baseball.” In 1954, he and
Vera moved to Andrews to start Ruffin’s Department Store. He not
only built a successful store, but used this store to touch the lives of
many people with his compassion and guidance. After 38 years, Mr.
Ruffin closed the store and retired. Even after retirement, he still
enjoyed his daily rounds at the Post Office, cleaners, Reynolds, and other
local merchants. He and Vera also joined the First Baptist Church
of Andrews in 1954. There they served faithfully over the years until
their home goings. Mr. Ruffin’s service included: over 50 years in
the Sunday School Department, first as Assistant Superintendent and then
Superintendent; served as a deacon, as an usher, and as a member of the
Baptist Men’s Brotherhood in which he was still serving as Treasurer.
He was a member of the Lions Club, and former member of the Rosemary School
Board. He enjoyed playing golf and was a charter member of
Cherry Hill Country Club. He was an avid sports fan and loved the
Clemson Tigers. He leaves a legacy described in Proverbs 21:21:
“Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honor.”
Mr. Jimmy Ruffin was a devoted father, loving brother, cherished grandfather
and great-grandfather, and a trustworthy friend – a life whose handprints
are engraved on the hearts of many forever.
Jimmy and Vera celebrated
66 years together. Their home was blessed with: two children,
Ginger R. (Mike) Altman and Jim (Shelly) Ruffin; two grandchildren, Dr.
Ryan Altman and Marianne A. (Ryan) Jordan; and a great-granddaughter, Henley
Jordan. He is also survived by a sister, Helen Elizabeth R. Scarborough
of Charlotte, NC.
He was predeceased by:
his parents; his wife; a sister, Marilyn R. Gibbons; and two brothers,
Thomas Edmonson Ruffin, Jr. and Collin Bradley Ruffin.
The Ruffin family would
like to extend a special gratitude to Dr. T. Gamble, Mary Jacobs, Roberta
Jones, and Victoria Scott for their compassion shown during this journey.
A Home Going Celebration
will be 4PM, Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at the First Baptist Church of Andrews.
Internment will follow in the Andrews Memorial Cemetery directed by the
Andrews Chapel of McKenzie Funeral Home.
The Ruffin family will receive
family and friends 6-8PM, Monday evening, February 6, 2017 in the sanctuary
of the First Baptist Church of Andrews.