Joan B. Ruffins, 81, of Sag Harbor, passed away peacefully on Friday, May 31, at Stony Brook University Hospital. She was born on May 30, 1932 in Chicago, Ill., to Vivian and O’Dell Young.
Mrs. Ruffins is survived by her husband, Reynold Ruffins, whom she married May 29, 1954. She is also survived by four children, Todd Ruffins of Sag Harbor, Lynn (Curtis) Cave of Brookln, N.Y., Ben (Deborah) Ruffins of Queens, N.Y., and Seth (Susan) Ruffins of Altadena, Calif.; six grandchildren Rebecca, Ranger, Seth, Alexandra, Theodore and Olivia; sister Joyce (Al) Holmes of Virginia; and dozens of nieces, nephews and other extended family.
Mrs. Ruffins was a longtime resident of Sag Harbor, summering in Nineva Beach since 1961 and moving here permanently in 1992. Before that she lived and raised her family in Queens.
A talented painter, Mrs. Ruffins graduated from New York City’s High School of Music and Art and attended The Cooper Union from 1952 to 1954 when she married.
“Upon becoming pregnant, she was asked to leave the school, an act of sexism that was rectified in 1979 when the school conferred upon Joan her well-earned certificate of completion,” said the family.
Mrs. Ruffins loved to read, cook, garden and entertain, teaching friends and family what she knew of cooking, baking and wine. She enjoyed traveling, the mountains of Vermont, the countryside of Michigan and the bay and ocean.
“Family was most important to Joan,” said the family. “She was a quiet force and influential figure in many people’s lives; a wise and thoughtful person who cared for many and was beloved by more.”
A memorial service will be held at a later date.