Cover photo for Ruddnette "Joyce" Jefferson's Obituary
Ruddnette "Joyce" Jefferson Profile Photo
1934 Ruddnette 2022

Ruddnette "Joyce" Jefferson

April 7, 1934 — February 14, 2022

Ruddnette Jefferson, one of the last surviving African American women of her generation born and raised in Yellow Springs, passed away on February 14, 2022.

Ruddnette was a life-long resident of Yellow Springs, where she raised her five children with her husband Thurlow Jefferson, Sr., who preceded her in death.

Ruddnette was also preceded in death by her daughter, Martena Burnside Brice, and grandson Robert Jones.

Ruddnette's early adulthood was shaken by the loss of her mother, Lyda Dunbar Dixon, and the loss of her only sister Marilyn Dabney. Nevertheless, she persevered and went on to help raise her nephew Steve Ligon along with her own young children.
Whatever the situation, failure was not an option for Ruddnette. Her determination, work ethic, and faith in God ruled her life.

Ruddnette attended Central State University. Her professional career began with Hoenig's Fashions and included The Yellow Springs Children Center, Wilberforce University, Wright Patt Credit Union, and later working for boutique owners.

Ruddnette was a member of First Baptist Church, where she had served as a Deaconess, Usher, and Table Captain at the annual Calendar Tea. Ruddnette also participated with the Retirement Set Club serving as the membership secretary. She also served the Yellow Springs community by working at the polls during elections.

Ruddnette had an energetic personality and a sense of fashion that was admired by family, friends, and church members-all eyes were on her stiletto heels and fashionable hats. She enjoyed attending local fashion shows with friends and shopping trips to Toronto, New York, and Detroit with her family.

She desired to be the fashion plate of Yellow Springs. In addition, Ruddnette was a fabulous cook known especially for her cakes desired by those in Yellow Springs and beyond, including her children's friends, who would stop by for a slice and enjoy her other offerings.

Ruddnette is survived by her daughters Tracy Jefferson and Kim Mabra Bragg (Michael) and sons Thurlow Jefferson, Jr. and Mark Mabra; her grandchildren Ciarra Bragg-Jones (Nicholas), Mitchell Bragg, Derrick Jones, Curtis Burnside, Jillian Mabra, Derek Mabra; her great-grandchildren Jonathan Jones, Serenity Jones, Noah Jones, Braden Lakins, Riley Lakins, Clarissa Owens, Courtney Ownes, Penelope Bragg, Jayce, Julien Burnside; great-great-granddaughter Lila Jones Nephews Steve Ligon, Preston Dabney.

A service for Ruddnette Jefferson will be held Friday, February 18, at First Baptist Church in Yellow Springs. Service will be from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, with the Visitation beginning at 11:00 AM with the Rev. Dr. William Randolph officiating. Interment will follow at Glen Forest Cemetery in Yellow Springs.

Social distancing protocols will be observed, and face masks will be required.

Arrangements entrusted to Jackson Lytle & Lewis Life Celebration Center.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ruddnette "Joyce" Jefferson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, February 18, 2022

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Friday, February 18, 2022

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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