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Serving Opelika, Auburn, and Lee County since 1988



Burlson G. Ruffin

April 3, 1929 ~ May 5, 2018 (age 89)

Mr. Gwenette climbed up on his tractor for the last time in, November 2017. His favorite place in the world to be was on that tractor with the love of his life and farm hand, Betty, by his side. They started leasing their 250 acre cattle farm in Waverly Alabama in 1994, and besides their children and grandchildren, farming was one of their greatest joys in life. They taught their children and grandchildren about work on the farm, and would pass it down to their capable hands. He knew he wouldn’t live forever, but had created something that would. So much love, laughter, sweat and tears they had put into living a pastoral life. He had embraced agriculture, and made a career of it through his work in the Alabama Extension Service. He had managed livestock, trained Alabama’s farmers and educated them about animal nutrition. His diligence and dedication had brought him joy and peace. He lived a successful life. He was content and blessed. But, it was time to say goodbye. Goodbye to cattle, fishing, and family. Diagnosed with cancer in 2012, He was fighting for his own life and must let it all go. Burlson Gwenette Ruffin passed away on May 5, 2018. He was 89 years old.

Gwenette was born April 3, 1929 to A.B. Ruffin and Gertrude Carr Ruffin. He served in the Air Force as a Staff Sergeant from 1950 to 1954. He attended Mississippi State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree from the School of Agriculture and Department of Animal Husbandry in 1950. He received his Masters Degree in Animal Husbandry in 1956. In 1969 he went on to receive his Doctor of Philosophy (PHD) from Auburn University.

Gwenette married Betty Therrell Ruffin, August 5th, 1952. They were married for 65 years and had two children, Susan and Bill.  He worked for the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service as a Beef Cattle Nutrition Specialist and retired a cattle farmer in 1995.  He was a Member of the Alabama Cattleman Association and was inducted into the Alabama Livestock Hall of Fame in 2002.

Gwenette is preceded in death by his father; A.B. Ruffin, mother; Gertrude Carr Ruffin, and son; William (Bill) Albert Ruffin.

Gwenette is survived by his wife; Betty Therrell of Auburn, AL; daughter and son-in-law, Susan and Ray Freeman of Laurl, MS; daughter and son-in-law Deborah Ruffin, husband Seth Taylor and son, Collins Taylor of Auburn, AL; sister and brother-in-law, June Hearn and Ted Hearn of Gulfport, MS; grandchildren, William Chalmers and wife Ashton Starr Ruffin Niceville, FL, David Burlson Ruffin and Sarah Slay Ruffin of Auburn, AL, Benjamin Mark Ruffin of Auburn, AL, Charles Russell Freeman and wife, Michelle Lofton Freeman of Laurel, MS; great-grandchildren, Rustin Freeman and Katye Freeman of Laurel, MS.

Visitation will be Thursday May 10, 2018 4:00pm – 6:00pm a short service will follow at 6:00pm at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home 1500 Frederick Rd. Opelika, AL 36801. A graveside service will be held at 11:00am Saturday, May 12, 2018 at Providence Baptist Church 290 CR 10 Stringer, MS 39481.

 The family kindly declines the donation of flowers.

Please make donations to:

Bethany Hospice House Angels

1171 Gatewood Drive, Bldg. 100

Auburn, AL  36830

Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home and Crematory directing.

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