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Life Story / Obituary
A loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother, Ruby Verville met each day with a smile and a heart filled with gladness. The beloved matriarch of a beautiful family, Ruby was a treasure for all who were blessed to know her. Ruby was a powerful role model, who inspired others by example. Regardless of life’s trials, she found joy and goodness in every moment. In Ruby’s heart, others always knew their worth and that they were loved completely. Cherished by many, Ruby will long be remembered and ever so missed.
1928 continued to ride the decade’s roaring wave of peace, prosperity, and hope. The nation celebrated the recent inventions of Penicillin, the iron lung, bubble gum, and the Yo-Yo, as well as Charles Lindbergh’s Congressional Medal of Honor and Amelia Earhart becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. As the wave of sweeping social and economic growth rapidly increased, nowhere was there more hope for the future than in the Jackson, Michigan home of Virgil Besser and Evelyn Morgan as they welcomed their daughter Ruby into their family on September 9.
In addition to the impact of the Great Depression, Ruby’s early years were challenged by her father’s abandonment, taking her two older siblings. In their absence, Ruby’s mother was left to raise her alone. Ruby and her mother traveled around to wherever her mother could find work, even living in a tent for a time. They became very resourceful, eating what they could, including wild game, and focusing on their hope for a brighter future. When Ruby was 13, her mother married Ben Tinkey, who welcomed Ruby into his heart and became a loving father. His steady influence and modest home on White Oak afforded a wonderful sense of home and being a part of a loving family would be the hallmark for Ruby.
Ruby was a bit of a daredevil in her youth and often remarked on how lucky she was to be alive when reminiscing some of the stunts she pulled. After graduating with the Lawton High school class of 1947, she met and married Bill Ludwig. Though their marriage ended in divorce, it blessed them with the gift of five children.
In 1958, Ruby married Lee Verville, and her family grew to include four more children. Marilyn, Bill, Janet, John and Scott, Dave, Laura, Pat, and Joyce were the centers of Ruby’s world, and she proudly strove to provide them a loving and supportive home. Lee built the family a home on County Road 665, where Ruby would remain for the rest of her life. Many wonderful memories were made in the home, including Ruby’s good cooking and homemade bread. Ruby made sure her children had a solid foundation of love and support upon which to build the rest of their lives.
Sadly, Ruby’s husband, Lee, died in 1978. At the time, Ruby was working part-time as a housekeeper at the local hospital. With a need for money, she began to work full-time. Though she didn’t always like the job, she did it with a smile on her face. She continued to welcome each day as a gift finding the goodness in every moment. A great optimist, she loved unconditionally, supported others with tender care, and always found something to laugh about.
As her children grew older, Ruby welcomed her daughters-in-law as her own. She always sent them off with a reminder to “be safe” and call when they arrived home. Because she didn’t want anyone to incur long-distance charges, the code was to hang up after the phone rang once to let her know they were safely home. Without a doubt, Ruby’s grandchildren were her heart’s delight. She showered them with her joy and was fondly known as the Happy Grandma. She relished in family gatherings, especially dinners that often included delicious hamburgers and fried potatoes she made in her cast-iron skillet.
A child of the Depression, Ruby inherited a resourcefulness that inspired her to hang onto things. Ruby was a talented quilter and knitter, lovingly creating warm and beautiful gifts for those she loved. While she enjoyed cake, she had no fondness for frosting. Her love for Magnum PI star Tom Sellick was so strong she hung his picture on her wall. She also enjoyed watching shows like Gunsmoke, the Waltons, Walker Texas Ranger, and Dr. Pol. She found pleasure in working on crossword puzzles and a good Louis L’Amour book. Despite occasionally yelling “jerk” when she encountered a bad driver, Ruby was always in a good mood. Her heart was always open, and she never hesitated to give of her love, even for her dogs.
Much like the lighthouses she adored, Ruby was a bright and beautiful beacon of all that is good in the world. In her good company, there was no hardship that couldn’t be lessened, and every joy was increased. Ruby taught us how to navigate life with a smile on our faces and laughter in our hearts. Her legacy of how to live a wholehearted life will surely be proudly carried forward by those she loved.
Ruby Verville, age 92, a longtime resident of the area, died on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, after an extended illness. Surviving members of her family include her children: Marilyn (Doug) Attridge, Bill (Terisia) Ludwig, John Jondall, Scott (Anita) Ludwig, David (Jerri) Verville, Laura Barber, Patrick Verville, Joyce (Rick) Vlietstra; 14 grandchildren, several great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild. Ruby was preceded in death by 2 husbands: Bill Ludwig and Lee Verville; a daughter Janet Ludwig and a great-granddaughter daughter Khia.
Private services were held at the Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Home, 60900 M-40, Paw Paw, 49079 (269) 657-3870, and she was buried next to her husband Lee in St. Mary Cemetery in Paw Paw. The family will announce a public service at a later date. Please visit Ruby’s personal memory page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com, where you can read her Life Story, share a favorite memory or photo, and sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.