Ruby M. Martin (1932-2023)
Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Ruby Mae (Holder) Martin, beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother passed away peacefully surrounded by family on June 20, 2023. She lived a wonderful, long life spanning 91 years.
Ruby was born in Dalhart, Texas in 1932 in the heart of the Dustbowl and Great Depression. The fourth of five daughters, she grew up in a loving family of modest means and never forgot the importance of leading a simple life dedicated to home and family. Her first job was ironing for neighbors in Cartwright, Oklahoma. Could this lady iron! She made $7 a week and said it was the first time in her life she could have clothes made from fabric, not flour sacks.
She fell in love with John W. Martin by writing letters back and forth while he was in the Air Force, stationed in occupied Japan after WWII. He returned to Texas in 1949 and got Ruby out of high school, proposing to her at Lake Texoma. She turned 17 on May 5th and they were married on June 9th. Their three children (David, Teresa, and Duane) were born in Fort Worth, Texas.
They moved to St. Louis in 1962 when John went to work for McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft. They lived there for 52 years. John retired in 1990 and they traveled all over the United States and in Europe. Ruby loved to load up their travel van (she packed EVERYTHING) and head out to see family, friends, and this beautiful country. In 2015, as John’s health failed, they relocated to Denton, Texas to live close to Dave and his family. John passed in 2018. They were married just short of 70 years. Ruby came to live in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina with Duane and his family during the pandemic.
Ruby’s greatest joy was caring for others. She was an amazing “Southern” cook and specialized in chicken fried steak, fried chicken, and all kinds of pies. As her grandson said when he was in preschool, “…every dinner at Grandma’s is like a Thanksgiving feast’’. So true! She showed her love to all of us by baking and cooking. She loved having her family close and was always up for Bingo with the grandkids. Her favorite holiday was Christmas. She decorated the entire house (inside and outside) and baked for days. She would put up the silver tree, complete with rotating color wheel, that they purchased at Western Auto in the 1960’s. John would always say “we need to get rid of that thing” but it would always reappear.
Ruby is preceded in death by her parents, Andrew Clarence and Hattie Roney Holder, an infant brother, sisters Allene, Georgie and Mary Lou, beloved husband John Wesley and first grandson, Jeffrey Martin.
She is survived by son David (wife Sue) of Corinth, Texas; daughter Teresa (husband David Studebaker) St. Charles, Missouri; Duane (wife Nannette) of Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina; grandchildren Jami Bell-Martin of Nashville, TN, Kristina Martin of Corinth, Texas; Crystal Carraway of Indianapolis, IN; Joshua Pace (Catriona) of Winfield, Missouri; Natalie Buckley (Ryan) of Wilmington, North Carolina; Andrew (Megan) of Chapel Hill, North Carolina and great-grandchildren Jackson, Corbin, Elliott Pace of Winfield, Missouri and Louisa and Jane Buckley of Wilmington, North Carolina. Her sister, Helen (Glen) Reynolds of Cartwright, OK and many nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly.
We are grateful to Michael and Shayla Gardner, Marcia Heady and our friends on Ocean Isle Beach who helped so graciously with Ruby during her last years;. Thank you to our extended family who called and visited when they came to OIB and stayed in touch with Ruby via Christmas cards. We are especially grateful to Michelle Whitworth who sent Ruby a card at least monthly. She loved getting mail!
Thank you to Kim Cox, at Arbor Landing for helping us keep Ruby in her home for as long as possible. We are incredibly grateful to the SECU Hospice House of Brunswick LifeCare center (Debbie, Stephanie, Nicole, Lauren and Katie and all of the others) who transitioned Ruby into hospice care so that she could pass pain free with her loved ones beside her.
There will be a private graveside burial in the coming months where Ruby will be laid to rest next to John at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery in Texas.
In lieu of flowers the family is requesting donations to the SECU Lower Cape Fear LifeCare Foundation at https://lifecare.org/ways-to-give or 800-733-1476.
“ You shall be known for the beauty that comes from within…the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is so precious to God.” 1 Peter 3:4
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