DURHAM: Olinda Ruffino passed away in her home surrounded by her loving family on Monday, January 27 at age 68. Linda was born March 18, 1951 in Domanico Cosenza, Italy where she lived until she was 10 years old. Her parents, Rosina and Luigi Longo moved their family of 8 from Italy to Venezuela, where Linda spent the next few years of her life. They came to the United States and settled in Brooklyn, NY when Linda was 13 years old. Linda decided to pursue her passion and embark on an education in cosmetology while in high school. Upon graduating from Clara Barton High School, she began working in a local salon which she would eventually come to own.
Linda met the love of her life, Salvatore Ruffino, in 1970. After a two-year courtship they married in June of 1972. Linda and Sal moved to Durham in 1978, where they raised two daughters, Danielle and Sabrina. Linda and Sal have owned numerous businesses over the years and are proud members of the Southwest Durham community. They have remained active parishioners at Holy Infant Catholic church for over 30 years. Sal and Linda celebrated 47 years of marriage together and have built a beautiful life with their daughters, son-in-laws, grandchildren and friends.
Linda’s greatest joy came from being surrounded by family and friends. She never met a stranger and treated all of her friends like they were part of her family. She didn’t just make you feel loved, she told you how much she loved you. Her love was not just in her actions, but expressed in her words as well. Her sons-in-laws, Scott and Robbie, whom she called her own sons, have been such a blessing to our family. They have been an enormous support to the entire family, and she delighted in spending time together and knowing her daughters would always be loved and cared for.
The most incredible experience for Linda was becoming a “Nonna.” Danielle and her husband, Scott Bagley, gave Linda and Sal their first grandchildren, two girls, Gabrielle and Eliza. Having granddaughters just seemed so familiar and easy for her. Linda shared her love of cooking and shopping with the girls. They share her passion for style and love all things beautiful.
Sabrina and Robbie Williams provided the family with the new experience of grandsons. Linda delighted in the addition of Owen and Pierce. They have been such a beacon of light in her life as she has fought this unforgiving disease. Owen’s careful attention to detail and sweet caring nature are all traits he inherited from his Nonna. And little Pierce, the apple of Nonna’s eye: his smile, loving nature, and beautiful blue eyes melt her heart in a way that proves there is a connection that will be forever felt.
Linda’s incredible love of life, positivity, and tenacity will never be forgotten. She was small in size but her presence was ever so large. She thrived on making people feel loved and welcome and was known for being the most extraordinary hostess. Her beautiful spirit will be missed the most. She was a giant light in our lives and the lives of her friends. There is no doubt she is an angel in heaven, because she was an angel here on earth.
In addition to her immediate family Linda leaves her siblings, Ines Camelia, Mario Longo, Venera Lattaruli and Dino Longo. She was predeceased by her parents and brother, Aldo Longo.
A Funeral Liturgy will be offered 11:00 AM Monday, February 3 from Holy Infant Catholic Church, with entombment following in Raleigh Memorial Park. Friends may visit from 1-4:00 PM Sunday at Hall-Wynne Funeral Service. Gifts in Linda’s memory may be made to Holy Infant Church.