Jacob Ruffin embodied ‘public servant’

Published 6:07 pm Saturday, August 8, 2009

There are many public servants who give their all every day.

They take telephone calls, go to meetings and get stopped at the grocery store by the friends and neighbors who make up their constituency.

For more than two decades, Jacob Ruffin Jr. was one of those people. He was someone who made it his business to listen to the citizens of Murfreesboro. He took their voice to meetings of the Murfreesboro Town Council and he demanded they be acknowledged.

In the early days of his service, as now, many towns have an unwritten code that the highest vote-getter is named Mayor Pro-Tempore. During many of his 13 terms on the board, that person was Jacob Ruffin.

Mr. Ruffin was one of the people who never shirked from his duty as a member of the town’s governing body. He was always available to the people he loved and represented.

While always conducting himself as a gentleman, Mr. Ruffin was straight-forward and direct. He never hid his beliefs or dodged responsibility. He was an honest and unswerving person and leader.

As we take the next few days to look back at the life of Mr. Ruffin, it is important to remember that he was a businessman and a leader, but also that he was a person who loved Murfreesboro, loved its people and sacrificed for them.

His passing is a loss for Murfreesboro, Hertford County and the Roanoke-Chowan region. He will be missed.