Josephine Branch Craige Ruffin Adamson, 78, passed away on Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 in Chapel Hill, N.C. after a long illness.
She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Jerome E. Adamson, and their three children: Mary Adamson Galvez and her husband, Nicholas J Galvez, of Tampa; William T. Adamson and wife, Kimberly S. Adamson, of Hillsborough, N.C. and Josephine B.C. Adamson of Virginia Beach, Va. She is also survived by seven grandchildren: Nicholas Galvez, Eleanor Galvez, Delia Adamson, Cadence Adamson, Avery Evans, Josephine Evans, and Ruffin Evans.
She was preceded in death by her brothers, Burton Craige Ruffin and William H Ruffin, Jr., as well as her parents, Josephine Kluttz Ruffin and William H Ruffin.
Jo was born and raised in Durham, N.C., attending Durham Academy and graduating from Chatham Hall in Chatham, Va. She matriculated at Smith College in Northampton, Mass. where she enjoyed fencing, rowing crew, and learning ancient Greek. She contracted polio and left Smith to convalesce. She later entered UNC-CH in a wheelchair, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in English, serving as president of her sorority, Chi Omega, and able to walk without assistance.
After her marriage, Jo and Jerry settled in Norfolk, Va. where Jerry practiced plastic surgery and hand surgery. She devoted herself to her family and her many community interests. She served as president of the Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach, the Garden Club of Norfolk (GCA), and the Norfolk-Tidewater chapter of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America.
Her membership in the Monday Club in Norfolk, and later the Canterbury Club in Durham, fueled her commitment to continued learning. She was an active volunteer for the Friends of the Norfolk Juvenile Court and was later a tutor for adult literacy in rural Avery County, N.C.
Jo was a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church, most recently at St Stephen's Episcopal Church in Durham, N.C. Despite disabilities from polio, Jo was a competitor in ladies' tennis for many years at Norfolk Yacht and Country Club.
After Jerry's retirement the couple lived part-time in Boca Grande for more than 20 years. In Boca Grande Jo was active in the local book club, as well as at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church where she served as an Alter Guild for many years. She loved living on the water and the island’s beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
Jo and Jerry later moved to Linville, N.C. and Chapel Hill, N.C. She continued until recently to delight in walks in the mountains and visits with family and friends.
A memorial service was held on Friday, Oct. 12 in Durham, N.C. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made in her honor to the memorial garden at the All Saints Episcopal Mission, P.O. Box 117, Linville, N.C., 28646 or to the Thoracic Oncology clinic at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, UNC-CH, CB #7295, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27599, or to the charity of choice.
Josephine Ruffin Adamson will be remembered always for her love, determination, grace, intelligence and sense of humor.
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