OBITUARY

Ruby J. Smith

October 19, 1926June 9, 2018
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Ruby Jean (Hughes) Smith, 91, of Evansville, IN, went to be with her Lord on Saturday, June 9, 2018. She was born on October 19, 1926, to Lionel and Jesse Paris in Repton, Kentucky.

On October 19, 1946 she was married to Harlan Hughes and had two children, Sondra and Michael. In 1956 they relocated from Evansville to Northwest Indiana, where they resided until Harlan’s passing in 1972. In 1974 Ruby remarried to Vincent Smith and resided in Hobart, Indiana. She was widowed in 1991. After spending ten more years in Hobart, she moved back to Evansville to be close to her two sisters, where she met a dear friend, Millerd Burden, who preceded her in death in 2015.

Ruby is survived by her daughter, Sondra Norton; Michael D. Hughes (Tina); sisters, Mildred (Hughes) Tedrowe, Stephanie Hayden; four grandchildren, Todd, Terry, Tim Tarchala and Michael M. Hughes; 12 great grandchildren; five great great grandchildren; two nieces; one nephew; and great nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held 6:00 PM Tuesday, June 12, 2018, at Alexander East Chapel, officiated by Rev. David Schwambach, with burial in Calvary Cemetery, Portage, Indiana. Friends may visit Tuesday from 12:00 PM until service time at the funeral home.

Services

  • Visitation Tuesday, June 12, 2018
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, June 12, 2018
REMEMBERING

Ruby J. Smith

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Biography

This is a story about Ruby Jean Smith. A story full of life; with joy, hardship, happiness, sadness, hard work and happy times.
Ruby was born in a small community in Kentucky named Repton. She was the second born child to Lionel and Jesse Paris on October 19th, 1926, Lionel and Jesse’s first child being stillborn a year earlier. Two years later, Lionel and Jesse had another daughter named Mildred, who would become a best friend to her sister, Ruby. Together, they would love to play in the hills and fields around their home by then in Shady Grove, Kentucky. As they grew, they attended Shady Grove School. As sisters they would walk together several miles through woods and fields in order to get to a main road to catch a bus to school. After school, they would sometimes go to the little grocery next to the school and buy candy with the money that was given to them by their beloved Grandpa Nicky, who adored his two granddaughters and could do no wrong in his eyes. Many times growing up, Ruby, would play tricks on her little sister, Mildred, as many big sisters do, like the time they got off the school bus to go home and Ruby hold her the big cloud in the sky was going to fall down on her head so she ran all the way home scared. But once home, Ruby apologized and said she was just playing a trick on her.
Once in high school, Ruby was very popular and was a cheerleader for the sports team. Growing up during the depression, her family always did okay because they were farmers and were able to raise and grow their own food. During World War II, her family moved to Evansville and her father worked at Chrysler building Sherman Tanks. During summers, Ruby and Mildred would live in Evansville and worked at Wood’s Drugs downtown, but in the fall and winter they would live with their grandparents in Shady Grove to attend school. After Ruby graduated high school, she moved to Evansville to live full time. Mildred, her sister, also moved back. While living in Evansville, Mildred met a returning serviceman named Jim Hughes who had a brother named Harlan. Jim and Mildred introduced Ruby to Harlan and they began dating. Jim and Mildred were married as was Ruby and Harlan. While in Evansville they had a daughter named Sondra while Harlan was working for Coca Cola. She was born in 1947. They resided on Governor Street for a while then moved to Darmstadt for a period. In 1955, they moved to a home on Outer Lincoln Avenue and Ruby babysat for two children living next to them for the Optometrist Dr. Dennings. It was there she became pregnant again and this time gave birth to a son they named Michael in 1956. In 1957, some of their friends had moved to near Gary, Indiana and sought out work at the many steel mills. Ruby and Harlan decided to move north on the chance that Harlan could also get work in the mills. At first they lived in a small mobile home at Ted’s Trailer Park in Portage, Indiana. Harlan worked two different jobs before being hired as a Construction Millwright. In the meantime they had moved into a house in Portage on Willowcreek Road. Both Sondra and Michael graduated school there. Sondra was married in 1966 and in 1967, Ruby became a grandmother.
Harlan became ill in 1971 and had to quit working so Ruby got a job in Gary, Indiana at Gary Screw and Bolt where she worked in the J-Lock Division which applied an adhesive to bolts used in the auto industry. Unfortunately, Harlan passed in December 1972 and Ruby was widowed. She lived in the same house until she met Vincent Smith in 1975 and married him that year. They moved together into a new house they bought in Hobart, Indiana. Ruby continued to work at Gary Screw and Bolt, and Vincent, who was retired from Inland Steel, took up painting pictures which at first was a hobby but then after a year he became good enough that they would travel around to different art shows on weekends and sell his paintings. After several years working at Gary Screw and Bolt, the company went out of business so Ruby worked for a period at a Holiday Inn doing housekeeping, but then took a job at Indiana Botanic Gardens packaging vitamins, lotions and medicines. In 1991, Ruby’s husband, Vincent, passed away of a stroke and again she was widowed.
Ruby stayed in Hobart until 2001, but then decided the house and yard there was too much to care for and decided to move back to Evansville to be closer to her two sisters and her son Michael, who had moved with his wife in 1977. While building a new, smaller home on Dellwood Court she lived with her son and daughter-in-law in Newburgh and also worked part time cleaning at their business, Firemaster. Ruby moved into her new house in October and spent much time decorating the way she wanted and caring lovingly of it. Ruby was able to be lucky enough to meet a wonderful man named Millerd Burden and together they loved to take drives throughout the Evansville area and enjoy each other’s company.
While living in Evansville, Ruby was able to share wonderful times with her sister as well as going on her first ever cruise with her son and daughter-in-law. She loved to play bingo and would go almost weekly for a longtime. Ruby was always a tireless worker and had to always be doing something. She hardly took time to rest. Ruby would be at Eastland Mall many days walking her five laps around culminating in a stop at Penney’s to see if they had any bargains. In 2007, Ruby went on a camping trip with her son and daughter-in-law in the fifth wheel spending about two weeks in Colorado and two weeks in South Dakota having the opportunity to see the mountains and many beautiful sites as well as experience some new adventures.
Ruby gained many grandchildren as well as great-grandchildren and was blessed to have five great-great-grandchildren and have been able to enjoy a five generation party with her family to celebrate her 90th birthday. She lived as full a life as any of us could hope to live and touched so many lives with her love, hard work ethic, tenacity and spunk. She will be remembered for all of those things as well as the many valuable lessons she passed down to all of us. She will be greatly missed but lovingly remembered.