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Carolyn Ruffin, a former nurse's aide and senior homemaker who was active in community and church affairs, died Sunday (Jan. 16, 2000) at the Gardens Health and Rehabilitation Center after a long illness. She was 76.

Born Carolyn Salter in Laverne, Ala., she moved to the Buffalo area in 1942. She attended the Buffalo school system's adult education program and obtained an associate's degree from Erie Community College city campus. In 1978, she received a bachelor's degree from Medaille College.

She ran the Ruffin Brothers Dry Cleaning Outlet on Perry Street from 1954 until it closed in 1957. She also worked as a nurse's aide at Millard Fillmore Hospital and as a senior homemaker for the Casa Program run by the Erie County Department of Social Services. She retired in 1989.

In the summer of 1974, Ms. Ruffin traveled to Africa under the Special Studies African Seminar, a program sponsored by Buffalo State College.

She was a volunteer at the Alcoholic Center on Niagara Street and for the Buffalo Urban League. She participated in the DART Program. She was a den mother for Cub Scout Troop 103. As organizer of a special program at the Talbert Mall Housing Project, Ms. Ruffin trained young mothers in child care.

Her personal interests included listening to opera, Mahalia Jackson and classical music. She enjoyed bowling, reading, cooking and community activities.

Ms. Ruffin originally was a member of First Shiloh Baptist Church and then joined Free Spirit Baptist Church where she served as an usher.

Survivors include three sons, Harry Brown and Tyrone of Philadelphia, and Phillip; a daughter, Phyllis; a stepson, Jimmy; three sisters, Leona Morris and Irene, Chapman and Lurene Lilly of Alliance, Ohio; three brothers, Rev. Ben, Willie and Adolphus Salter; 23 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. today in Free Spirit Baptist Church, 60 Titus St. Burial will be in St. Matthew's Cemetery in Gardenville.


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