Joann Henson Ruff

March 26, 1954November 23, 2018

Joanna “Joann” Henson Ruff, 64, died on Friday, November 23, 2018, surrounded by her family that she dearly loved, at the John F. Keever Solace Center. Joann was born in Haywood County on March 26, 1954, to the late Ira and Lucille Kuykendall Henson. She had a special love for children making them her life’s work. Joann was a member of Hazelwood Baptist Church where she sang in the choir for 26 years. She loved going to Lake Douglas and spending time with her family. Joann will always be remembered for “keeping her children straight” and for being a friend to everyone.

In addition to her parents, Joann was preceded in death by her brother, R.L. Henson.

Joann is survived by her husband of 41 years, Clifford Ruff; son Matthew Ruff; daughter, Beth McMahan (Brian); sisters, Betty Inman, Mary Cogburn (Bill), and Phyllis Sellen; grandchildren, Kelli Chasteen (John) and McKenzie McMahan; great-grandson, Peyton Chasteen; brother-in-law, Tony Ruff (Terri); numerous nieces and nephews; and her special little dog, Toby.

Funeral services will be held at 3:00 pm at Hazelwood Baptist Church on Thursday, November 29, with the Reverend Tim Lolley officiating. Burial will follow at Green Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 1-3 pm prior to the service at the church and at other times at her son’s residence.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hazelwood Baptist Church at 265 Hazelwood Ave, Waynesville, NC 28786.

The family would like to offer a special word of thanks to Lisa Jenkins, Denise Finger, Sarah Wyatt, and Lilly Nguyen.


  • Visitation Thursday, November 29, 2018
  • Funeral Service Thursday, November 29, 2018

Joann Henson Ruff

have a memory or condolence to add?

Teresa Rogers

December 1, 2018

Joann was a good woman who I know truly loved her family and friends. She never minced words. I liked that about her because she always spoke the truth. I know heaven gained a truly genuine Angel 👼

Thomas & Charlene McCall

November 29, 2018

Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of great grief and sorrow. Our deepest sympathy for your loss.

Kay Queen

November 29, 2018

My dearest Joanne, I cherish our friendship and sisterly love that we have shared throughout our many years.... we’ve laughed so much, we shared many tears, we’ve traveled down many long roads, but each time we were together it was as if we never parted. You will be in my heart for ever and we will stroll together again my dear dear friend. Look for me. I will meet you there one day.

All my love to this wonderful family. I love you,



Polly/Ed Leatherwood

November 28, 2018

We are church members at Hazelwood Baptist, where Joann was a member. We served in the choir together--she on one side of the choir (last seat) and I on the other end (last seat). That didn't matter, we always got together during choir and during our joining of hands in prayer each time we met. We loved Joann and the last time I saw her was a beautiful day in early November when I took her subs for supper because she was down with her hip surgery. We had a wonderful visit which included her granddaughter, We talked about the future and about her granddaughter going to nursing school. I left her house with a good feeling that things were going good for Joann. Little did I know that she would be with her heavenly Father within a month. We love you Joann and will miss you terribly, but we know you will be spreading "Joy" to all those in Heaven. The "Joy" is a special song the choir is doing in its choir special on December 9, 2018, at Hazelwood. Joy means everything to our choir now and we hope you will share it with us....and Joann.

Anita Cullen

November 28, 2018

We went to church with Joann for many years. Joann was such a sweet and caring lady. In the last few years, we have met some more of her family and have learned what a caring family she has also. We extend our love and deepest sympathy to all of Joann's family. May God bless you and comfort you as only He can. Our continued prayers, Mike and Anita and Family