Ruffin passed peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, October 21, 2023, surrounded by family. He will be well remembered for his dedication to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), his love of food, and his eagerness to learn. He is survived by his wife Linda LeBrane and their children by marriage: Michael, Mark (Jann), Mateo, and Shani (Scott); his former wife Bettye LeBrane and their children by birth: Hilary, Jennifer (David), and Kimberly (Nick); his sister Carolyn LeBrane Tilton (Cornelius); and twelve grandchildren: Ashlei LeBrane, Lawrence, Isaiah, and Josiah Nieves; Joseph, Joshua, Jared, and Javon Stewart; Akwe, Ciel, and Ederra McDaniels; and Cian Frayo. He is preceded in death by his brother Myron LeBrane (Rosemary); his second wife Katherine LeBrane; and his grandson Jeremiah Stewart.
Ruffin was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and reared by his parents Ruffin Joseph LeBrane, Sr. and Mabel Pauline (Cross) LeBrane. Growing up, Ruffin’s father was a caterer and instilled a love for all things food and family. His mother instilled in Ruffin a confident demeanor as well as a passion for learning and education.
Ruffin’s faith in God and Jesus Christ was imbued from a young age. He was reared in a Southern Baptist and baptized into the LDS church in 1983 after growing a strong testimony of his faith. He received his patriarchal blessing on February 12th, 1984, and served the church through many callings including first counselor in the bishopric, Elder’s President, and Stake Sunday School President. He was blessed to serve as a temple missionary with his wife Linda in Washington, D.C. from 2015 to 2017.
Ruffin excelled academically. He graduated with honors from St. Augustine High School in New Orleans where he played the saxophone in the world-famous Purple Knights 100 Marching Band. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Dillard University, majoring in Pre-Medicine and minoring in Chemistry and Mathematics. After graduation, he worked as a chemist for a pharmaceutical company for seven years researching drugs to treat seizures in children. His desire to help people led him to obtain his Master of Psychology from Winona State University and focus his professional career in psychology and mental health. He retired, after working for King County Mental Health in Seattle Washington for thirty years, to pursue his personal life passions.
Ruffin had a very gregarious and outgoing personality. He was a proud member of the Beta Phi
Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He enjoyed spending time cooking for friends and family, fishing, hiking, watercolor painting, and traveling with family. He left an indelible mark on this world, and his memory will shine brightly for all the lives he touched. Ruffin lived in Port Townsend for 47 years. This is his happy place.