Robert Ruffin, second vice chairman of Community Board 10 and a World War II veteran active in Queens veteran groups, passed away Dec. 28 at the age of 94.
The South Ozone Park resident was born in Fort Worth, Texas on March 3, 1919 and spent his childhood and teenage years there.
He entered the U.S. Army in 1941 and served for four years during the Second World War. He was honorably discharged and lived for two years in San Francisco, where he attended Golden Gate College.
He came to New York in 1953 to attend Monroe Business College in the Bronx. There, he received a certificate in bookkeeping, accounting and tax preparation.
For 31 years, Ruffin worked for the U.S. Postal Service, eventually retiring as superintendant of building services.
Ruffin later settled in South Ozone Park, joining CB 10 in 1981 and attending York College, where he received a bachelor’s degree in political science at the age of 70.
On CB 10, Ruffin rose to become second vice chairman and chairman of the Transportation Committee. He was unanimously re-elected as second vice chairman last April.
“Bob Ruffin was a valued member of Community Board 10 who served his community day in and day out for decades,” said CB 10 Chairwoman Betty Braton. “He, his smiling face, and his ever-present chuckle will be missed by all of us.”
He had been absent from several board meetings recently and Braton noted that he was ill at the November board meeting.
Active in veterans groups, Ruffin was chaplain at Veterans of Foreign Wars Proctor Hopson Post #1896 in Jamaica and a member of American Legion Post #1946 in Laurelton.
Ruffin is survived by his three children — Robert Jr., Ella and Carol — six grandchildren — Morris, Valerie, Girard, Preston, Cecil and Justina — four great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
In a statement, Ruffin’s family said he enjoyed “reading, traveling, dancing and the ladies.”
Ruffin’s funeral was held Jan. 7 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Jamaica. He was buried at Calverton National Cemetery in Suffolk County.