Dorothy "Marie" Ruffino was born in May 1923, and passed away Saturday, May 21, 2011, in Santa Maria.
She was born in Cookville, TN, where she attended schools and graduated, then moved to Michigan to work as a secretary. It was there she met and married her husband of 54 years, Sam.
Eventually they moved their family to California and raised nine children - five boys and four girls. Her greatest source of joy was her family - loving, teaching and nurturing her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were her life long projects.
Marie was known to her grandchildren as "Nana." There was a special box in Nana's house that contained candy and treats just for them.
Marie's treasured collection of Betty Boop figurines and dolls were enjoyed by her and all who visited her home. She also thrived on traveling to Reno, where she participated in slot machine tournaments. She often won, possessing the "Luck of the Irish."
She was an amazing cook and prepared many a feast, but she excelled in the creation of Italian cuisine, which she learned in the kitchen of her mother-in-law, Angeline from Palmero, Italy.
Marie passed on her love of cooking and expertise to her sons, daughters and daughters-in-law. She enjoyed eating a great meal and never ever passed on dessert.
The expression "shop till you drop" described Mom's incurable love of searching out a great bargain.
During the last years of her life, Marie took great pride in her rose garden - the fragrance from a bouquet of beautiful fresh roses always filled her home.
She was loved deeply and will be dearly missed by all.
The family would like to thank Marian Hospice, especially Ena, for their compassionate care of our Mother.
Marie is survived by her brother, Robert Turner (Jean) of Michigan; children, Jack Ruffino (Kitty) of Scottsdale, AZ, Linda Stephenson (Bob) of Pismo Beach, Renee Ruffino (Gary) of Santa Maria and Arizona, Steve Ruffino of Santa Maria, Jeanine Cecchi (Don) of Arroyo Grande, Rosanna Marino (Phil), Charles Ruffino (Tracy) and David Ruffino (Stephanie) all of Chico, CA; and dear friend, Pam Ruffino of Santa Maria.
She is also survived by 26 grandchildren; and 31 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Samuel Sr. in 2002; and son, Samuel Jr. in 2011.
A Viewing will be held from 5 to 8 p.m., with the recitation of the rosary at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 26, 2011, at Bidwell Chapel in Chico.
The Funeral Service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, May 27, 2011, at Our Divine Savior Church, also in Chico.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Marie's honor to Marian Hospice.