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Eileen Ruffner, 91, of Peacham, VT passed away peacefully on May 16, 2023.
Eileen was born in Queens, New York on March 7, 1932, to Thomas and Ella Fisher Gilligan. As their only child, Eileen was raised in Queens, NY, , graduating from John Adams High School.
She later went on to work at the Bell Company in Brooklyn, NY for a brief period before starting her family with her husband, Edward.
She married the love of her life, Edward Ruffner, on February 11, 1956, and together they raised their four children. They made their family home in East Northport, Long Island before eventually moving to Peacham, VT in 1971. Eileen has always been drawn to the Peacham area, often sharing stories of her childhood vacations with her parents in Danville, staying at the Diamond Hill Cabins.
Later in Eileen’s life she volunteered in community activities and events, including as a ballot clerk during elections, assisting with Fall Foliage Days, and being a part of the Ladies Society of Peacham. One of her passions was being a worldly traveler during which she made many long- term friendships on excursions to Hawaii, United Kingdom, China, and Italy, just to name a few. During her trip to Italy, she was blessed with the opportunity to meet the Pope. When she was not traveling the world Eileen could be found on her screened-in porch, enjoying the beautiful Vermont summer, reading the New York Times, Boston Globe, and the Daily Wall Street Journal.
She was a loving grandmother to eleven and great grandmother to fourteen, taking great pride in the part she had in creating a large family from being an only child. Eileen always held the family holiday gatherings at her home, creating special memories that her family will hold dearly. Eileen is survived by four children and their families- Maureen, her husband Bruce, and Robert (Missy), Michael (Diana), Kathleen (Josh), and Bridget (Dan), and 9 great grandchildren, son Douglas, his wife Annette, Danielle (Craig) and Lauren (Jake), and 1 great grandson, son Kenneth and his wife Abbie, and Lisa (late James Pearl), Steven (Dee), and Olivia (Brandon), and 3 great grandchildren, son Robert and his wife Alice, and Kayla (Ross) and Elizabeth (Nick), and 1 great granddaughter.
She is predeceased by her husband Edward, her parents, her infant sister, and great granddaughter Isabelle. Eileen will be greatly missed by all of those whose lives she touched over her wonderful ninety one years.
A wake is scheduled for Monday, May 22 from 5 to 7pm at Sayles Funeral Home in St. Johnsbury. A Catholic funeral will be held on Tuesday, May 23 at 10 am at Queen of Peace Church in Danville with burial following at the Peacham Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Peacham Rescue Squad.