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Stretch of road in south Richmond County named after Judge Ruffin

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Hailing Judge John H. Ruffin Jr. as a man who paved the way for others, his friends, family and elected officials unveiled a marker Monday dedicating a stretch of state highway to him.

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Judith Ruffin (left) smiles after unveiling a road sign in honor of her late husband, Judge John H. Ruffin Jr.,  at the Abundant Life Worship Center. Her sisters-in-law Shirley Brady and Jeanette Gordon look on.  CHRIS THELEN/STAFF
CHRIS THELEN/STAFF
Judith Ruffin (left) smiles after unveiling a road sign in honor of her late husband, Judge John H. Ruffin Jr., at the Abundant Life Worship Center. Her sisters-in-law Shirley Brady and Jeanette Gordon look on.

The hour-long ceremony at Abundant Life Worship Center in Hephzibah celebrated the life of the Waynesboro, Ga., native, who broke barriers as the first black Augusta Superior Court judge in 1986 and the first black chief judge of the Georgia Court of Appeals in 2005.

After lifting the veil on the marker, which names Georgia Highway 25 from Georgia Highway 88 to the Burke County line in Ruffin’s honor, his widow, Judith, expressed her thanks.

“I’m so happy that his colleagues and friends ... see the value of his work,” she said. “Let this be our inspiration for better times. Let this road lead us on to greater things.”

Several close friends and judges carried the highway analogy in their remarks, calling Ruffin, who died in January 2010, a “trailblazer” and a man who created a road to take the community to a better place.

Former Superior Court Judge Bettianne Childers-Hart expressed her hope that the thousands of motorists who pass the sign would learn more about Ruffin’s life and be inspired by his achievements.

Augusta State Court Judge David Watkins said naming a state highway after Ruffin shows that more people recognize the importance of his legacy.

“The way has been paved,” he said. “It’s made easier for people like me to achieve some success in the profession.”

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Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/14/11 - 07:55 pm
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We have the Ruff House and

We have the Ruff House and now the Ruff Road.

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