Emelia M. Ruffing obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Emelia M. Ruffing

March 6, 1924 - September 13, 2017

Obituary


"Emily"

Died on September 13, 2017 at Alexandria Hospital, Alexandria, VA. She was 93 years old.

Emily was born in Washington, DC on March 6, 1924. Her parents were the late Thomas O. May, Sr. and Freya M. Mori May. Emily was predeceased by her husband Fred Ruffing; brother Thomas O. May, Jr.; son Peter Ruffing; and granddaughter Erin Ruffing.

Directly from high school, Emily joined the steno pool at the Reconstruction Finance Corp (RFC). Shortly thereafter, her honed typing and shorthand skills were recognized and she was promoted to the...

"Emily"

Died on September 13, 2017 at Alexandria Hospital, Alexandria, VA. She was 93 years old.

Emily was born in Washington, DC on March 6, 1924. Her parents were the late Thomas O. May, Sr. and Freya M. Mori May. Emily was predeceased by her husband Fred Ruffing; brother Thomas O. May, Jr.; son Peter Ruffing; and granddaughter Erin Ruffing.

Directly from high school, Emily joined the steno pool at the Reconstruction Finance Corp (RFC). Shortly thereafter, her honed typing and shorthand skills were recognized and she was promoted to the position of personal secretary to the head of the RFC. In this position she met many of the DC political establishment, including Harry Truman.

During her time at the RFC, Emily met the love of her life - Linus (Fred) Ruffing. When she and Fred began their family, Emily became a full-time Mom. They bought land in Lincolnia, VA which was then wilderness to this city girl. Fred and Emily cleared some land and literally built their first home. Subsequently, they built 4 more homes in their new neighborhood. The second home they built is the family homestead which Emily owned & occupied until her death.

While raising her family, Emily was politically active. She campaigned for many candidates at the local, state, and national levels. At the same time, she became a community activist, championing the needs of the less fortunate. Many a day was spent delivering groceries to those in need. She and Fred were also active participants in the widely spreading integration movement of the 1960's. Despite Emily's growing family, she always welcomed individuals into her home in need of temporary shelter. This included abandoned and/or abused children, the homeless, and a multitude of foreign students from all over the world who were missing their families and home.

Much of this community activism was based on Emily's and Fred's involvement with the Christian Family Movement (CFM). For years, the organization's principles were the foundation of their's and their family's beliefs - if you see a need, you have an obligation to do something. This core belief was the impetus for Emily and Fred founding the Annandale Christian Community for Action (ACCA), now 50 years strong. This organization provides food, housing, and financial aid to the Northern Virginia Community. It also operates an exemplary Birth to Five Child Development Center in Annandale, VA.

Alas, Emily wasn't all work. She and Fred never turned down the opportunity to dance - especially enjoying square dancing and the polka. Often they rolled back the rug in their living room, put on their western gear, and hosted friends for a square dance. Traveling was a key component of family life. Emily, Fred, and family traveled throughout the US and Canada for weeks or month-long camping trips.

When Emily's youngest children were in high school, she returned to the work force. Initially, she worked part-time at the ACCA Day Care Center. After Fred's untimely death in 1976, Emily became a full-time employee at the ACCA Child Development Center in Annandale, VA. There, again, she touched the lives of many - students, teachers, and parents alike. Continuing to live by the premises of CFM, Emily regularly used ACCA's and her own resources to help those in need. Emily retired from the Child Development Center in 2010 at the age of 86.

Emily is survived by 5 of her 6 children. Barbara Greaney (husband John), Stephen Ruffing, Karle Finley (husband Bruce), Paul Ruffing (wife Dawn), and Matthew Ruffing (wife Mary Jane). Other survivors are her 9 grandchildren: Shannon Mackey, Bridgett Doloff, Alex Ruffing, Blaise Ruffing, Ryan Ruffing, Jacob Ruffing, Shane Ruffing, Max Ruffing, and Cade Ruffing.

At the end of her life, Emily reflected on her death with these words: "I don't want to leave my children." Rest in Peace, Mom. You deserve it!

Friends will be received on Monday, September 18 from 2-4 & 6-8 pm at Demaine Funeral Home, Springfield. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, September 19 at 11 am at Queen of Apostles Catholic Church, Alexandria. Interment to follow at Fairfax Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the Emily & Fred Ruffing Scholarship Fund. Mail to: ACCA Child Development Center, c/o Anne Marie Hicks / Ruffing Scholarship, 7200 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003.