Gisela (Schwahn) Ruffinen

January 20, 1932 ~ January 7, 2020 (age 87)


Wynantskill - Gisela Schwahn Ruffinen, age 87, of Wynantskill, passed away Tuesday, January 7, 2020, with family by her side.

She was born January 20, 1932, in Ludwigshafen, Germany, the daughter of Emil and Barbara (Neff) Schwahn.

Gisela was preceded in death by her adoring husband of 60 years, Leo H. Ruffinen. Their story is one of beauty; where after a chance encounter in Europe, the tall, handsome American soldier penned love letters to the beautiful, young German woman for months, asking her to follow him stateside and start a life together. After some slight convincing, Gisela took a chance and moved halfway across the world, where the two settled in Wynantskill and created a loving family. 

Gisela was a wonderful mother to her three children; Rita (David) Cedar of North Greenbush, Carol (Stephen) Duma of Poestenkill, and Timothy (Nancy) Ruffinen of Wynantskill.  She was also a beloved Oma to her seven grandchildren; Timothy Jr. (Audrey) Ruffinen, Sara (Jeffrey) Bailey, Bryan (Jessica) Cedar, Eric (Lindsay) Duma, Michael (Emily) Ruffinen, Kathleen (Tim) Ryan, and Katie Duma (Scott) and eight great grandchildren; Ava, Liam, Lacy, Madelyn, Ella, Cade, Ivy, and Charli. Gisela is also survived by her brothers; Guenther and Norbert, sister; Inga, and sister-in-law; Erna. She was predeceased by three other siblings; Bertha, Erika and Heinz. She also leaves behind many other extended family members and dear friends who will sadly miss her.

More than anything, Gisela enjoyed spending time with her family and friends. She had many talents, from cooking to crocheting, and her gardening skills were second-to-none as her house was surrounded and filled with beautiful flowers year-round. Above all, Gisela’s greatest attribute was her ability to make you feel special and loved. While small in stature, her larger-than-life personality was infectious, felt by people she encountered and will be dearly missed. 

The family would like to extend their deepest gratitude to St Peter’s Hospital and their Community Hospice Inn as well as The Eddy Memory Care at Hawthorne Ridge in East Greenbush for their compassion and care to Gisela.  

Relatives and friends may call at the Bryce Funeral Home, Inc.  276 Pawling Avenue Troy on Thursday from 4 - 7PM. 

Funeral service will be Friday at 9AM at the funeral home and a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at  9:30 AM at St. Jude the Apostle Church Wynantskill. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gisela (Schwahn) Ruffinen, please visit our floral store.


January 9, 2020

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Bryce Funeral Home, Inc.
276 Pawling Avenue
Troy, NY 12180

Funeral Service
January 10, 2020

9:00 AM
Bryce Funeral Home, Inc.
276 Pawling Avenue
Troy, NY 12180

Mass of Christian Burial
January 10, 2020

9:30 AM
St. Jude the Apostle Church (Brookside Avenue Wynantskill)

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