Ruby Christian - in honor of Mrs. Ruby Piland
From the Headmaster: Grandma Ruby passed away just two weeks before Thanksgiving of 2011; the following bio was from her eulogy, written by her grandson Jeff (Sonya's brother).
Ruby May Newby was born November 24, 1912; she was the second of five children. She graduated from high school in 1931 and married Joe Piland in 1935. Ruby and Joe farmed South of Macksville, Kansas until Joe’s death in 1971. Joe worked in the oilfields and was away from home a lot. Ruby took on all the farm work that needed to be done. Every day was filled with a gardens to plant, fields to harvest, fruit to can, eggs to collect, cows to milk, plus innumerable house chores of all types.
One of Ruby’s most admirable qualities was her perseverance. If anything needed to be done, she would figure out a way to do it. After her foot was mangled in a farm accident, many people thought she would never be able to walk on it again; but she did - and she never complained about it.
Ruby moved to town in 1980, but she was far from retired. She did child sitting and Ruby’s adopted Grandkids became a major joy in her life. She was, and remained very close to the kids and their parents. Ruby loved to knit, crochet, and sew. She knitted at least sixty five afghans, most of which were given away to friends and family. She made several quilts, most of which were also given away. She also made countless stuffed toys for kids. There was hardly a child in Macksville who didn’t have one of her monkeys or teddy bears.
The smells and tastes that came from Ruby’s kitchen were legendary. Whether it was her fresh baked bread, smeared with homemade sand hill plumb jelly, or the hand-rolled noodles and chicken – no one left her table hungry and everyone was invited. Ruby’s house was always the favorite stop on Halloween. Whether it was the handmade popcorn balls, or the homemade doughnuts, served from a broom handle, the kids would come from far and wide for her treats.
Ruby certainly had her feisty side. One of her favorite childhood stories: "I was in the 1st grade, riding home from school. Myrtle (Ruby’s Sister) and I were sitting on the back of the buggy with our feet hanging down. I was singing a song we learned in school, "No one can cultivate me for I'm as wild as I can be. " At that moment Dad flicked the horses, they surged forward and I fell off the back of the buggy into a patch of stickers. At that point I didn't feel quite so wild." After she picked the stickers out, her spunkiness returned.
Once when she was visiting relatives, one told Ruby that she thought she needed a spanking. Ruby looked around the room and said, “That may be true, but I don’t see anybody here tough enough to do it”. She was about 92 at the time.
She loved to read the Bible; they had family bible reading and prayer every night. When her eyesight failed to the point that she could no longer read, she listened to the Bible on tape. She memorized a lot of scripture, so she always had access to it.
Ruby May Piland was a great example of hard work, frugal living, and loving one's family. She attended each of her grandchildrens’ weddings and got to know each of her great-grandchildren.
A light this bright does not dim as soon as the person is gone. We will remember Ruby, and celebrate the life she led while she was here. As long as we do that, we'll always be able to feel her presence.