Sylvia M. Ruff, a homemaker who had been a defense worker during World War II, died of kidney cancer April 7 at Chester River Hospital Center in Chestertown. She was 87.
Sylvia Marie Tilley was born and raised in Algonquin, W.Va., one of 14 children. In the 1930s, she moved to Elkton, when she took a job in a powder plant.
During World War II, she worked at the old Glenn L. Martin Co. plant in Middle River as a drill press operator and riveter of warplanes.
From 1946 to 1986, she lived in Gray Manor, a Southeastern Baltimore County community. For the past 22 years, she had lived in Sudlersville.
She gardened, and enjoyed word puzzles and crocheting.
She was a member of St. John Lutheran Church in Dover, Del.
Surviving are her husband of 62 years, Frank A. Ruff, a retired Westinghouse Electric Corp. laboratory technician; a daughter, Wendy L. Haynes of Sudlersville; three brothers, Donald Tilley of Iron Station, N.C., David Tilley of Peterstown, W.Va., and Jimmy Tilley of Bell, Fla.; three sisters, Manda Allen of Ravencliffe, W.Va., Marie Smith of Sun City, Fla., and Peggy Adkins of McGraws, W.Va.; and a grandson.