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Celine Compagnon DeRuffieu of Mathews, a remarkable and beautiful woman, is finally free again. She passed peacefully on Jan. 6, 2018, after 82 years of an interesting, adventurous and service oriented life.

Celine was born in Cuba, daughter of a French count and Spanish lady, and emigrated to America when she was 18. She never looked back.

After marrying and having four children, Celine put herself through college and graduated at the top of the dean’s list. During the midpart of her life, her ceaseless efforts were geared towards helping people and then, in the latter part, she turned her attentions to animals.

She was always volunteering, even when she was in her 70s. She was a spiritual adventurer, delving into many religions and philosophies, always searching for truth and meaning.

She lived in many places, spending quite a few years in Italy, before finally finding her home in Virginia. She came to love the kindness of its people and its land. She enjoyed many happy years here with her six dogs, one of which was a big Husky, whom she aptly named Huskie. Their bond was unbreakable.

Celine was fearless and even embraced technology, making her own website to honor her father. She lived well, loved a lot, and was loved in return. She will be missed.

Fly, Mom, fly on your gossamer wings. When we see butterflies and hummingbirds, we’ll remember you.  

A memorial will be held in April.