Today: Sep 21 , 2019

In Tribute to Elisabeth Ruffner

14 March 2019  

Elisabeth Ruffner passed away last night at the age of 99.

At eNews we wish to offer our condolences to the Ruffner family on the passing of Elisabeth Ruffner last evening.

Elisabeth was 99 years young and frequently recognized as the Matriarch of Prescott history. She was a fierce advocate for the arts, education, libraries and the beauty of Prescott. In 2015, she was quite deservedly inducted into the Arizona Women's Hall of Fame where they write:

"Recognized nationally and locally, her awards are too numerous to list them all. A mention of a few of them will give you some idea of her many achievements. In 1969 she received the Rosenzweig Award from the Arizona State Library Association for outstanding citizen participation; a Cultural Achievement Award in 1980 from the US Department of the Interior; an Arizona Governor’s award for Historic Preservation; the Individual Award at the 29th annual Governor’s Arts Awards and she was named History Maker by the Arizona Historical Society and a Culture Keeper, a program originated by philanthropist Katherine Herberger to honor individuals who have demonstrated a long-time commitment and passionate dedication to keeping Arizona’s culture alive."

While some seniors find technology and the Internet baffling, Elisabeth was not daunted. She kept a watch on our community through Facebook, recently offering comments on everything from Save the Dells to birthday wishes.

On a personal note, I will miss turning around in Council to see her sitting there keeping an eye on our elected officials. Sometimes she spoke in agreement with the Council, sometimes not, but it was nearly always with an historical perspective.

Cecelia Jernegan, a longtime friend of Elisabeth's, explained, "I was blessed to go see Elisabeth at the Marley House over the past few days. My heart aches. I am so happy we have a place in Prescott like the Marley House. I have been honored over the past 25 years to work closely with her on many projects. Many new people moving to the greater Prescott region do not realize the city of Prescott and surrounding area would NOT be what it was today if it was not for all of Elisabeth's efforts over the past 70 years. I know there are going to be a lot of celebrations and tributes of her life especially since September 17th will be her 100th birth date."

"Elisabeth Ruffner made everyone she met feel special," Jernegan continued. "With her passing her dream is for citizens to continue the work she started over 70 years ago. Preserve buildings, land, open space and most importantly preserve our rich history."

Prescott was a richer community because of Elisabeth Ruffner and she will be sorely missed.

Please share your memories below, or send them to We will compile them and give them to her family.


From the City of Prescott

PRESCOTT, AZ (March 14, 2019) – The Mayor and Prescott City Council were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Elisabeth Ruffner last night.

Mayor Greg Mengarelli offered these sentiments, on behalf of City Council.

“Elisabeth will forever be a true Prescott icon, and her contributions to our City and our State were immeasurable,” said Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli. “As part of a proud and long-standing Prescott family, Elisabeth championed many important causes, including preservation of our history and Western culture, care and management of our open spaces, and our historic buildings and infrastructure. She was a leader, a friend to the City of Prescott, and a champion of its citizens in so many ways. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Elisabeth’s family at this time of great loss. May God bless and keep her.”

Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder and Editor of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She asks a lot of questions! In her spare time, she loves photography, cooking and hanging out with her family.