Herbert Harrell Ruffin

May 27, 1936 - March 29, 2023

05/27/1936 - 03/29/2023

Past Services

Monday April 03, 2023
1:30 pm - 2:45 pm
Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service of Ahoskie
205 NC Highway 42 W
Ahoskie, NC 27910
252-332-3122 | Directions
Monday April 03, 2023
3:00 pm
Highland Memorial Gardens
US 13 South, 109 Ward Road
Ahoskie, NC 27910

CHESAPEAKE, VA – Herbert Harrell Ruffin, age 86, passed away peacefully on March 29, 2023 at the Chesapeake Regional Medical Center from pneumonia and a battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Born in Bertie County, NC, on May 27, 1936, he was the son of the late Thomas Eugene and Edna Harrell Ruffin. Harrell graduated from Ahoskie High School in 1954. He went on to earn his Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from East Carolina University, his Master’s Degree in Education Administration from the University of Virginia, and his Education Specialist Degree from George Washington University.

Harrell devoted 30 years of his life to the Chesapeake Public School System. He was a government teacher at Great Bridge High School before becoming Principal at B.M. Williams Elementary School, and later served as Principal at Great Bridge Junior High School for 16 years. Herbert was later the Director of Continuing Adult Education for Chesapeake Public Schools before retiring in 1991.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his only brother, Thomas E. Ruffin, Jr.

Left to cherish his memory is his loving and devoted wife of 64 years, Peggy Brown Ruffin; his three children, Andrea (Jeff) Crooks of Virginia Beach, VA and Amy Forbis of Southern Shores, NC; and Herbert (Kelli) Ruffin of Hampstead, NC; his five grandchildren, Brandon (Megan), Lauren, Megan, Matthew and Tommy; and two great grandchildren, Leah, and Ethan.

The family will receive friends at Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service, 205 NC Hwy 42, W., Ahoskie, NC, 27910, on Monday, April 3, 2023, from 1:30 pm until 2:45 pm, prior to the graveside service at Highland Memorial Gardens 109 Ward Road, Ahoskie, NC, 27910, at 3:00 pm.

The family would like to thank all of the people at Georgian Manor who provided for his care during his stay there.

Flowers are welcome or memorial contributions may be made directly to Southeastern Virginia Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org) or to The Jefferson Monticello (Thomas Jefferson Foundation) (monticello.org).

Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service – Ahoskie Chapel is handling the arrangements for the Ruffin family and online condolences can be directed to the family by visiting www.garrettsykesfs.com.


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Bonnie Whitley
1 year ago

Sending heartfelt sympathies to his family and friends.
I remember Mr. Ruffin fondly, from my students years at Great Bridge High in the early 60’s.
May your memories give you comfort in the days ahead.

1 year ago

Mr. Herbert was a friendly and welcoming neighbor, we fondly called him the “Mayor of Harwich”. He shared so many stories, all rich with history. He will be missed. The entire family has our condolences and prayers.

Vicki Mathias Goins
1 year ago

Mrs. Ruffin, Amy and family. Just saw this and so sorry for your loss. Condolences to all and remember him as my principal GBJRH. May your many memories help you in the days ahead.

Mary Branstetter
1 year ago

Mr Ruffin was one of the best teachers I had at Great Bridge High School. Class of 64
Prayers and comfort to his family.

Nancy Pardue
1 year ago

So sorry to hear about his passing. My prayers are with the family. Just sending love to all! Nancy pardue, formerly Nancy Raper.

Margaret Anne (Immler) Trotman
1 year ago

Mr Ruffin and family we good neighbors in Great Bridge in the Hall Heights neighborhood. He was the Principal at GBJH when I attended there from 1969-1972 . My father, who also worked in the Chesapeake School system always thought highly of Mr Ruffin. He was a kind and good man. My heart and prayers go out to his family. God Bless.

Dan McLawhorn
1 year ago

Worked with Mr. Ruffin for 17 years as an Administrative Assistant and Assistant Principal. Enjoyed my tenure with him! He always looked out for me and I had much respect for him as a good friend and Administrator!. Will truly miss him! In the last 4 years, he was always concerned about my health and me being on dialysis! He was always checking on me to see how I was doing! RIP my good friend!

Ralph Nichols
1 year ago

Mrs. Ruffin, Andy, Amy and Herbie,

I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. I loved him, and I always enjoyed our conversations. He was a fine man. I hope to see you all Monday.

Ralph Nichols

Ann Salley Young
1 year ago

Your father and husband was my principal at GBJH in the early 70’s and a neighbor in Hall Heights subdivision. He was admired, respected, and fair. I was just thinking of him yesterday and wishing we had more leaders like him. God bless all of you. May your memories of Mr. Ruffin comfort you.

J. R. Ferguson, '80
1 year ago

I don’t know for sure, but as our Jr.
High Principal in the mid 70s, he seemed to me to be a pleasant and humble man.
God Bless his family.