In a poignant gathering filled with tears, laughter, and cherished memories, friends and family gathered to bid a final farewell to the beloved Johnny Ruffo at his memorial service held on Saturday, November 25.
Ruffo passed away at the age of 35 on Friday, November 10 after a long battle with brain cancer, triggering an outpouring of grief from fans and those close to him.
Emotions ran high as the more than 500-strong congregation gathered in the main hall of Ruffo’s former Balcatta High School to pay their respects and celebrate his life.
Ruffo’s girlfriend Tahnee Sims was among those who delivered an emotional tribute to the late star, revealing that she will be “forever grateful” for the “kind of love” she experienced with Ruffo.
“John liked to say I was his guardian angel. But I think soulmates is more accurate. Everything I gave, he gave back tenfold. And more often than not he was my source of strength and courage,” she said, as reported by The West Australian.
“For six and a half years I watched him go through a hideous cancer diagnosis, dealing with setback after setback and still act with courage and gratitude right to the very end.
“I will miss every single thing about John … Mostly I will miss the way he always managed to make me laugh, no matter the occasion or how inappropriate the joke … until we meet again John, I love you.”
Ruffo’s former Home and Away co-star Lynne McGranger delivered a eulogy in which she explained that despite his success, Ruffo’s humility remained unwavering.
“Those closest to him knew that he’d spent his entire life working towards that moment,” she said.
“He had a softness to him that kept him grounded, humble … He was an empathetic and caring friend to so many as well as such an incredible fighter.”
As the service drew to a close, Ruffo’s mother Jill presented a commemorative plaque in honour of her son to the school.
The plaque will find its permanent place in the school’s performing arts centre, serving as a timeless source of inspiration for present and future generations of students.