GENESEO, N.Y., Apr. 12, 2023 - Seaman First Class (Quartermaster) Allen Preston Ruliffson, Jr. has been named the Livingston County Veteran of the Month in April and was formally recognized at the Board of Supervisors Meeting on Wednesday, April 12, 2023.
Born December 27, 1925 in Martinsburg, W.V., he served in the United States Coast Guard Reserves from February 9, 1943 until his Honorable Discharge on December 13, 1946. Upon completion of basic training, Ruliffson went to Quartermaster School in Manhattan Beach, N.Y. where he learned to steer ships and proudly steered each vessel he sailed on.
During World War II, Ruliffson’s tour of duties include leading Navy vessels from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. breaking the ice allowing access to ships to the Mississippi River, guarding locks and clearing boats into the United States. His service stations included Buffalo, Staten Island, Manhattan Beach, Chambers Station, and Freeport in New York. Other duty stations included Cleveland Harbor and Lorain, Ohio and the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Md. His vessels include steering the Coast Guard Cutter, The Chaparral, and the Owasco-Class Cutter, USCGC Mendota (WHEC-69). He was in route to Panama Canal when World War II was declared over. For his military service, Ruliffson was awarded the World War II American Area Campaign Medal and the Victory Medal.
On a 48-hour pass during his military time, he married the love of his life; his high school sweetheart, Marian Eva Thompson. They lived in the Caledonia area when he worked as a superintendent in construction after his military service. Much of the initial runways and roads at the Rochester International Airport were built by his teams, and there, he met “The Great Humanitarian”, the 31st President, Herbert Hoover, who laid his hands in the cement at the airport. In retirement, Ruliffson enjoyed being a snowbird in Florida and making many memories with his wife before her passing. His hobbies included dabbling in projects, gardening, farming, and his favorite past time of building homes and repair projects with his four sons before three of their passing.
Many in the local community know Ruliffson because of his generous spirit. Over the years, he has given produce away to individuals, the Amish community and even some restaurants. He has given to those in need and in less fortunate situations than himself. Although today his legs slow him down from time to time, he is still active as much as possible. He is an active bowler and appreciates groups like the Livingston County Veteran Peer Support Program. He enjoys meeting and spending time with local veterans as he has outlived his WWII veteran friends. He is often quoted saying “I’m still walking and talking” and “I have lived a good life.” He enjoys his prayers before bed each day, being grateful for his life with his wife, his sons, family and friends.
Are you interested in nominating a deserving former member of our armed forces for the Livingston County Veteran of the Month or learning more about veteran-specific events? If so, please visit the newly launched LivCo Vets website.
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About Livingston County:
Founded in 1821, Livingston County, N.Y., is comprised of more than 61,000 residents in 17 towns located across 631 square miles of the Finger Lakes region.