The Button Gwinnett and Piedmont Chapters of the Sons of the American Revolution, along with the Philadelphia Winn Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Gwinnett County, joined together as sponsors of a Grave Marking Dedication at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, Georgia on September 22, 2018. These Georgia societies commemorated the service of the Honored Compatriot James Malcolm "Mike" Ruff Sr. who passed away on August 19, 2017.
Presentation of Colors was by the award-winning Georgia Society SAR Color Guard, led by Bill Palmer, Commander. Greetings were received from Don Burdick, President of the Georgia Society SAR and Ann Story, Vice Chair, DAR Good Citizens Committee, NE District Georgia Society DAR and Regent of Philadelphia Winn Chapter NSDAR. A biography and stories of Mike Ruff's life were told by Jaime Ruff, son of Mike Ruff and Registrar of the Piedmont Chapter of the SAR.
An American Flag that was flown over the United States Capitol and a Georgia State Flag that was flown over the Georgia State Capitol was presented to the family of Mike Ruff. Special thanks to U.S. Congressman Rob Woodall and to Georgia State Senator P.K. Martin for arranging the flying of these flags over their respective Capitols.
John Goodwin, President of the Button Gwinnett Chapter SAR, presented the National Society SAR Memorial Certificate and Medallion to Mike's widow, Bee Ruff, who is a member of the Philadelphia Winn Chapter NSDAR. Stewart Woodward, a member of the Button Gwinnett Chapter SAR, presented wreaths on behalf of the various patriotic chapters and societies.
Taps were performed by Bennie Koon, Immediate Past President, Button Gwinnett Chapter SAR, followed by the Retiring of the Colors by the Georgia Society SAR Color Guard. The ceremony ended with a benediction by Harry Kitchings, Chaplain, Button Gwinnett Chapter SAR. The SAR Recessional was read by Gordon Woodard, Treasurer, Button Gwinnett Chapter SAR, and final words were spoken by Bruce Maney, Past President, Button Gwinnett Chapter SAR, who also hosted the ceremony.
Mike Ruff never passed up an opportunity to wear his Revolutionary War militiaman attire and fire his musket. He was a true patriot, working for his family, his community, and his country. Mike served in the United States Air Force and appreciated the service of other veterans, especially disabled veterans.
For more information regarding the Philadelphia Winn Chapter of the NSDAR, please visit our website at: philadelphiawinn.georgiastatedar.org
Photos by Frank Marchese