Elisabeth Ruffer

July 04, 2022 - May 09, 2011


Elisabeth “Elsbeth” Phyllis Gottel Ruffer, 89, of Masonic Village, Sewickley, formerly of Ross, passed away Monday, May 9, 2011. She is survived by her loving husband of almost 65 years, Walter, who she first met in Detroit when she was eight years old; daughters, Carolyn, of Monroeville, and Nancy, of London, England; and son, Fritz (Cyndi), of Grand Rapids, Mich. She also has two grandchildren, Nathan (Tricia) and Jonathan (Vanessa), who will miss her dearly; and three great-grandchildren, Benjamin, Zachary and Aaron Ruffer. She was also loved by her sister-in-law, Delores Printy, of Troy, Mich.; and nine nephews and nieces. Elsbeth was a graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit, where she received her degree in music education. She taught elementary music in the Detroit suburban school system and gave private piano lessons before moving to Pittsburgh with her husband, Walter. She then taught vocal music in the middle school district of North Hills for 10 years. Elsbeth was well-known within the music circles of the greater Pittsburgh area and was a member, both as a singer and as a pianist, of the North Hills Music Club and the Tuesday Music Club of Pittsburgh as well as serving as past president (of the Pittsburgh chapter) and life member of the music fraternity Mu Phi Epsilon. Elsbeth was also an accomplished porcelain painter and could literally do anything she set out to do. She and Walter traveled the world together after they retired, but preferred to spend six months out of the year on their beloved island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where she belonged to the Audubon Society, served as president of the St. John Historical Society and worked at the National Park. Elsbeth’s beautiful smile, keen intellect and engaging personality instantly won her friends everywhere she went. She will be missed by her many friends on St. John, including Ms. Vashti Boynes, her library sewing circle friends and the congregation of the Nazareth Lutheran Church. Since moving to the Masonic Village five years ago, Elsbeth and Walter have made many wonderful friends. We wish to thank the caring staff at the Masonic Village and Valley Care Nursing Home with special thanks to her dear friend and helper, Barbara, and caregivers, Maureen and Valeria. Services will be private with a public memorial service to be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, 2011, at the Masonic Village at Sewickley. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of Pittsburgh: 1100 Liberty Ave., Suite E-201, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Phone: 412-261-5040 or the Masonic Village at Sewickley: Employee Appreciation Fund at the Masonic Village at Sewickley, 1000 Masonic Drive, Sewickley, PA 15143.

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