Apex Funeral Home

550 W Williams St, Apex, NC


Ruby Rivenbark Smith

July 20, 1926November 6, 2019

Ruby J. Henderson Rivenbark Smith, age 93, of Holly Springs, NC, passed away Wednesday, November 6, 2019, at home surrounded by family.

She was born in Chinquapin, NC on July 20, 1926, daughter of the late Bertie Oscar Henderson and Lou Ella Lanier. Ruby was preceded in death by her siblings Burras Henderson, Oscar Henderson, Rosa Henderson, and Warren Henderson as well as husbands, Ivey “Buddy” Lee Rivenbark, Jr. of 46 years and Robert Smith of 13 years, her daughter Sandra Ilene Wait (Danny) and great-grandson Jeffrey Ross Austin.

Ruby lived most of her life in Duplin County where she grew up, married, and raised her family. Ruby was a hard-worker and did her very best job in everything she was part of. She worked alongside her husband Buddy on their family farm while raising their children. She was also a professional seamstress and owned her own sewing business.

Ruby was a wonderful cook and delighted in preparing meals to be enjoyed by her family and many others. Pier and surf fishing were favorite pastimes for her. She loved college basketball, especially Carolina, and watched every game she could during the season. She also had a passion for gardening and took great care and pride in her yard as well as her vegetable and flower gardens. Ruby made many friends from neighbors and others who came to admire her yard and gardens. She was a friend to many and had a way of making everyone who crossed her path feel special. She loved to laugh and had a smile that was contagious.

Her membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was one of the most important parts of her life. Ruby enthusiastically served in many callings in the church and volunteered service to countless numbers of people. She served a full-time mission in the Washington D.C. temple where she met many friends. In addition, she served in the Raleigh, N.C. temple with her husband Robert. Ruby was one of the favorite members in her Holly Springs church congregation, especially to the children who loved her so.

Ruby is survived by her sons Darrel (Kathy) and Dannie (Patsy), son-in-law Danny (Teresa), grandsons Scott Wait (Regina), Brooks Wait (Ceri), Lee Rivenbark (Danielle), Kendric Wait (Bethani), Jason Rivenbark (Ashley), and Ben Rivenbark, granddaughters Alicia Young (Thomas), Joy Allen (Jason), Ginnie Magrini (Jon) as well as 26 great-grandchildren. Ruby’s family were the light of her life. She served them all with love and made sure they always knew how much they meant to her. Her family feels honored that she was their matriarch and the best mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother they could have asked for.


  • Visitation Monday, November 11, 2019
  • Funeral Service Monday, November 11, 2019
  • Graveside Service Monday, November 11, 2019


Ruby Rivenbark Smith

have a memory or condolence to add?

Lillie Hester

November 11, 2019

She was always so happy and so strong throughout the whole time I knew her. She was always smiling and I loved her strong sassy spirit. For youth nights we would go play games with her sometimes and that was always fun, it was easy to connect with her and feel that she truly cared for you. I will miss seeing her at church but I am so happy that she is finally free from any trials and sickness.

Susan Bray

November 8, 2019

Our hearts are broken. Ruby was an amazing lady. Our life's were changed for the better that summer day when we noticed she was the next winner of "The Yard of the Month". We had it the previous month. We enjoyed so many things together especially watching the UNC Men's Basketball games. Thank you for your kindness.

Susan Bray & Jill Cobb

Brad Lenear

November 8, 2019

I live in the same neighborhood as Miss Ruby. I would often stop to chat with her, and help her on occasion with something she would be working on in the yard, or on her house. She was one of the kindest and most good hearted people I have met. She would make homemade pies for me, which were delicious. I will always remember her, and will truly miss her. My condolences to the family. May God bless you, and God bless Miss Ruby.

Cathy Garrett

November 7, 2019

I always enjoyed talking to Miss Ruby at family celebrations. We especially enjoyed talking about gardening. She was always eager to share her wisdom of growing things.
Thoughts and prayers go out to the family.
May Miss Ruby Rest In Peace.
With Love,
Rick and Cathy Garrett
(Ashley Rivenbark’s parents.)