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Name:  " Helen Ruffin "
Better Known As  Tanty Helen
D.O.B:  5/25/1939
D.O.D  04/01/2022
Country From:  Grenada
State / Parish:  St. Andrews
District  Birch Grove
Place of Death  Brooklyn, New York
Service Date
04/18/2022 @ 9:30am


Viewing for Helen Ruffin will be held at St.Francis
Roman Catholic Church 1081 Nostrand Ave Brooklyn NY
on Monday April 18th from 9:30am-11am followed by Funeral Service at 11am.

Special Info  Helen Ruffin was born and raised in the village of Birchgrove in St. Andrew’s, Grenada. She was the second daughter born to the late Peter “Vivi” Ruffin and Veronica “Annie” Ruffin. Taught the family business of farming and ownership of a grocery store, at an early age, Helen, while successful at running the business and tending the family’s produce, became skilled in her favorite room in the house, the kitchen. Without much discussion on the matter, she became the family’s chef and thus, one of the best-known cooks in Birch Grove. It was customary for parishioners of St. Matthew’s Catholic Church to stop by the Ruffin’s residence after mass. There would never be a time that she did not have something prepared for all. From breads and bakes to stew chicken, breadfruit with rice (a specialty) and of course her favorite chicken soup with dumplings, made with her artisan’s hands. While she will be remembered and missed for her culinary skills, she was also brilliant with the written words, penning poetry, letters, and brilliant essays. In fact, she taught her youngest brother, Francis Ruffin, the secret to writing the perfect essay every single time. The wordsmith should have received credit for the genius younger brother, whose brilliance eventually was the talk of the family and the community. He learned what should have been called “The Helen Formular to Excellent Writing.” She painstakingly taught him that the best essays deserve a thought process that must follow the four-paragraph rule: preparation, setting out, time spent and returning home. She was talking about essay writing, but it truly serves as a formular for life. And indeed, now that we mark her return to her eternal home. She prepared for a life of love and happiness. But there was heartbreak along the way, including the tragic death of her baby, Rhoden Ruffin, before his second birthday. She set out to change lives, which she did, helping to raise her eldest sister, Carmel Noel’s, children, setting them up for success. She spent time devoted to her family, especially her youngest sister, Carmelita Ruffin, who has been her confidant, partner in prayers and closest friend. And she quietly remained humble, majestic, joyful, caring and kind to the very end. Helen Ruffin will also be remembered for her always seen gap-toothed smile, that gave evidence of a beautiful heart and an unshakeable spirit. She was never happier than on her trips with her sister Carmelita to short vacations, including Atlantic City and Niagara Falls. She smiled widely at every visitor who came to visit her during her stay at Four Seasons Nursing Home in Brooklyn. Every nurse, doctor, and social worker, first speaks of her smile. By now we know the smile speaks of the heart. Helen Ruffin loved her big family and was a loyal daughter, sister, and aunt, affectionately known as “Tanty Helen.” It was always family first for her, so when she migrated to the US with her youngest sister, they settled at her eldest brother’s home in Brooklyn. She always cherished the time spent with the late Denis Ruffin and his wife, Catherine Ruffin, who Helen described as the perfect and only partner for her beloved brother. It is in Brooklyn that she continued the nurturing of her nieces and nephews, drawing closer and closer to them, remaining the glue that kept the family together with delicious meals, laugher, and prayers. Her work as a home attendant was perfect for her caring heart and she purposely and intentionally poured herself into the protection of her clients, from the elderly to babies. In a full circle moment, she became the nanny to her grandniece, Micah Schure, the daughter of her niece, Yvette Noel-Schure. Helen Ruffin, our beloved Tanty Helen, will be deeply missed. She leaves to mourn her sisters Carmelita Ruffin and Maria Farray, her brothers Francis, Justin Farray, Derrick Farray, and Nugent Smith. Her sisters-in-law Catherine, Gwendolyn Ruffin, Stella Ruffin, Agnes Ruffin, Helen Farray, and Shelia Smith. The hearts left broken also include nieces Yvonne Noel, Yvette, Marva Noel-Ugorji, Jean Noel, Erma and Marilyn Farray, Nicole Ruffin, Kira, Vanessa and Karen Ruffin, Candy and Carol Smith, Gale, Alpha, Jeanette, Jaclyn, and June Farray. Her nephews include Trevor and Denzil Noel, Raffie Farray, Devon Ruffin, Linzy, Valon and Lindon Farray. And a host of grandnieces and grandnephews including Zaneta Thomas, Tichina Noel, Trevor Noel, Jr., Denzil Noel, Jr., Leon Noel, Michael, Micah and Milan Schure, Simone Hutchinson and Kaya and Oluchi Ugorji. She will also be missed deeply by her cousins including the Charles, Celestine, Lewis, St. Hillaire, Wilson, and Wall families. And the community of Birch Grove including the Gittens, Belmar and Antoine families. Helen is preceded in death by her parents, her sister Carmel Noel, her brothers Denis, Willis and Diony Ruffin, her nephew Gary Ruffin, and her always beautiful baby boy with the curly head of hair, Rhoden. May their reunion be a resounding one and may we in time only remember the beautiful heart of Helen Ruffin. Lovingly submitted by the family. Written by Yvette Noel-Schure

our sincere condolences to the family from earla, ralph and family. may she sing with the angels and rest in eternal peace.
BRANDON, FL [4/13/2022]


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