Obituary, Florence Irene (Baruffo) Leight

Florence Irene (Baruffo) Leight, 85, a longtime resident of Holmes, NY, died on Saturday, March 9, 2024. She most recently resided at Putnam Ridge Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Brewster, NY.

Mrs. Leight was employed as vulcanizer for more than 40 years at the Pawling Rubber Corporation in Pawling, NY. An early riser and exceptionally hard worker, Irene loved going to work and being on the job alongside her sons, Walter Jr. and Jim, her sisters Vicky and Louise, her brother Tommy, and many more family and friends.

Born on April 6, 1938, in Dover, NY, she was the daughter of the late Victor and Helen (Catasso) Baruffo. On May 5, 1956, in Patterson, NY, she married her high-school sweetheart, Walter E. Leight, Sr., and they celebrated more than 63 years of marriage prior to his death on May 21, 2019.

Irene was a devoted member of the Pawling Congregation of Jehovah Witnesses for the past 30 years. Her cherished friends Jennifer, Danielle, Eunice, Rosie, Sandy, and Penny provided years of spiritual guidance, friendship, and love. This group of friends and her niece Candy were instrumental in helping the family to care for Irene at her home for as long as this was possible and continued to be a support to her until the end.
She is survived by her three sons, Victor Leight and his wife, Dr. Susan Leight, of Bridgeport, West Virginia; Walter Leight and his wife, Jennifer Percival, of Pleasant Valley, NY; and James J. Leight and his wife, Jacqueline Leight, of Salt Point, NY; as well as her sister, Louise Stock of Manning, South Carolina. She is also survived by her four grandchildren, Megan Leight and her partner, Ryan Dieringer, of Bridgeport, WV; Dr. Hayley Leight-Dunn and her husband Jeffrey of Charlotte, NC; and Jamie Leight and Jacee Leight both of Salt Point, NY. Irene welcomed her first great-granddaughter, Quinn Amelia Dunn, (Charlotte, NC) in September 2023.

Besides her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her beloved sisters, Victoria Hoag of Beekman, NY, and Olga (Baruffo) Ballard of Wingdale, NY, her brother, Thomas Baruffo, and her half-brothers, Leno and Bruno Pezzato.

Irene was devoted to her family. She was always on the go with her sister Vicky and sister-in-law Rosie Wild enjoying an early breakfast and a full-day of shopping. For many years, she was a fixture at the Patterson and Stormville Flea Markets helping her father run his stall on weekends. Like her sister Louise, Irene loved to cook and bring people together – she would make a Thanksgiving dinner, even if you were just visiting for lunch!

Irene and her husband Walt were among the most generous and giving people ever placed upon this earth, both believing no act of kindness is ever wasted. Every day of their lives was a testament to their belief that goodness was about character, of which they both had an abundance. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Irene may be made to the Pawling Congregation of Jehovah Witness (; select the “Your Congregation” option and find Pawling, NY), or to the Mid Hudson Animal Aid (MHAA), Inc. Essie Dabrusin Cat Sanctuary, 54 Simmons Lane, Beacon, NY, 12508 ( Please put “In Memory of Irene Leight” in the special instructions section.

There will be no calling hours. There will be a memorial service at the Kingdom Hall in Pawling, NY on Saturday, March 23rd at 2:00 pm and a ZOOM link available for those wishing to participate remotely. Interment will be private and at the convenience of the family in St. John’s Cemetery, Pawling, NY. To send the family a condolence, please visit

Author: Harlem Valley News