Paula Ruffin, co-owner of shops in South Jersey

Paula P. Ruffin
Paula P. Ruffin
Posted: October 31, 2013

Paula Predow Ruffin, 72, of Mount Laurel, a former co-owner of shops in Pennsauken and Hainesport, died Wednesday, Oct. 23 at the Virtua Memorial medical center in Mount Holly of complications following a stroke.

Born in Philadelphia, she attended West Philadelphia High School. She married Charles Ruffin in 1958 and together they ran a small variety store on 60th Street near Girard Avenue in the mid-1960s, her daughter Kyle said.

After closing that, they moved to 60th Street near Chestnut Street, where in the late 1960s they opened Small World Shoppe to sell children's clothing and where in the early '70s they opened the Cover Up Shoppe next door to sell gifts and linens.

They ran both shops into the late 1970s, their daughter said.

All the while, Mrs. Ruffin's husband was a full-time area circulation manager for The Inquirer.

After moving to Mount Laurel in 1971, the Ruffins opened for a brief while a second Small World Shoppe in Pennsauken.

"At one point," their daughter said, "all three of them were operating."

Though he had the Inquirer job, she said, "she and he were the leadership team" for their retail operations.

In the mid-1980s, the Ruffins opened the Potpourri Shoppe, which sold gifts and plants, in Hainesport. At the same time they were merchants at Englishtown (N.J.) Auction Sales.

After her husband died in 1995, her daughter said, Mrs. Ruffin ran Dixie's Cards & Gifts in Hockessin, Del., for a few years, until she retired in 2004.

Besides her husband, she was also predeceased by their daughter Lynnette Moore.

A visitation was set from 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, at the Bringhurst Funeral Home, 215 Belmont Ave., Bala Cynwyd, before an 11 a.m. funeral service there, with interment in West Laurel Hill Cemetery.

Donations may be made to the Charles and Paula Ruffin Fund at Community Foundation of South Jersey, 30 Washington Ave., Haddonfield, N.J. 08033.

Condolences may be offered to the family at

610-313-8134 @WNaedele


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