Life Story / Obituary
No words could better describe Loretta Ruby than loving and compassionate. While she never had children of her own, Loretta had numerous nieces and nephews who simply adored her. Loretta’s true passion during her lifetime was helping others in any way she could and spending quality time with her beloved family. Her wonderful personality and warm spirit will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.
Looking back on the 1920’s, it was a period of sustained economic prosperity. By 1922, over 500 commercial radio stations were in operation in the US, the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated by Former US President William Howard Taft and the Great Railway strike to protest wage cuts began that July. With the media focused on jazz music and celebrities, Daniel and Katherine (O’Grady) Judge welcomed home a newborn baby girl, Loretta born on September 26th in Winn, Michigan. Born the youngest of her older siblings, Dorothy, Thomas, twins Marie and James, Joseph, Kathleen, and Raymond. Loretta earned the nickname, “Babe” and brought great joy to the family home.
With a dairy farmer as a father and an elementary school teacher for a mother, Loretta learned the value of a hard day’s work from an early age. Amidst the typical antics of growing up with a large family, Loretta was known to stir a fair share of mischief in her childhood. Not only was she a self-proclaimed troublemaker, she took great pride in instigating much of the sibling disputes! She did, however, claim to often take the blame for her older brother, Raymond’s mishaps and poor choices. Being the youngest also came with its benefits and one of them was learning some colorful vocabulary from her older brothers. Absolutely nothing could stand in the way of Loretta’s success. She was a strong student who graduated with the Class of 1941 from Mt. Pleasant High School. In addition to her studies, she also worked at the Economy Dime Store where she remarkably earned 17.5 cents an hour or $1.75 for 10 hrs of labor! Eager to pursue higher education, Ferris Institute in Big Rapids was the setting for her life as a college business student. During her tenure there, there were only 150 students in the entire institute! She launched her career with the Isabela Sugar Company (Main St. and Pickard Rd.) before landing work with Roosevelt Oil (Pickard St.). Her hard work and strong work ethic took her to SOHIO Oil Company (Maple & Main), then on to Borden Company (on Broadway), and Hibbard Buick Sales for ten years. She spent a short time at North American Drilling before accepting a position as office manager with Dirk-Waltz Buick in Midland, retiring in 1984 after twenty-three years of service.
Not to be forgotten, however, was the man who stole her heart, Kenneth Ruby! Meeting through mutual friends, they married on January 17, 1987, at Sacred Heart Church, when she was 64 years old! Loretta would often say he was worth the wait! Hard to know if he was smitten by her sense of humor, her culinary skills or her ability to make anyone feel welcome and comfortable.! Most would say it was probably a combination of all three as finding a sweetheart like Loretta to share life’s joys was certainly a treasure.
Loretta’s life was never a dull moment! She enjoyed traveling extensively all over the United States as well as Bermuda and Europe twice! She also won trips to both Ireland and Hawaii. Loretta was known to like a good whiskey and scotch from time to time and loved to go bowling. When she wasn’t traveling, she enjoyed following both the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Lions. Social by nature, it was no surprise that she was a member of the Catholic Daughters, the Red Hat Society, and the Beta Sigma Phi Business Sorority. With so many organizations as well as her Sacred Heart Parish family, Loretta had many special friends. As a matter of fact, her 95th birthday party was attended by more than 150 people!
Always up for any adventure, her special nieces and nephews often remarked they would be happy to inherit the wisdom and spunk she shared for a woman her age! They readily shared their many trials and tribulations with Aunt Loretta knowing that their secrets were always safe with her! However, they were also cautious as they knew if they didn’t want the absolute truth, don’t ask her as she was known to tell it like it is! Babe’s family knew her as the family matriarch, the family historian who knew who was related to whom, the disseminator of news and the one who kept us all together. Blessed to know such a positive person with a remarkably youthful spirit, Babe will be fondly remembered by all who knew and loved her.
Loretta Ruby, aged 95, passed away Saturday, February 17, 2018, at Medilodge of Mt. Pleasant. A Funeral Mass for Loretta will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 3, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with Father Loren Kalinowski as celebrant, concluding with a luncheon at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall. Cremation will take place following Mass and her ashes will be interred in Calvary Cemetery. The family will receive friends at Charles R. Lux Family Funeral Home on Friday, March 2, from 3-8 p.m. with the Rosary beginning at 7:30 p.m. Visitation continues at the church on Saturday one hour prior to Mass. Memorial contributions may be made to Sacred Heart Academy Foundation or Woodland Hospice. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home or church. She is survived by two special nieces, Sharon Tilmann and Patty (Dave) Krcmarik, both of Mt. Pleasant; step-son, Ronald (Pat) Ruby of Hubbard Lake; five step-grandchildren, Paul (Lisa) Montgomery, Ryan (Angie) Ruby, Deb (Mark) Krentz, Bill (Sijan) Purcell, and Jim (Tina) Purcell; six step-great grandchildren; nieces and nephews, Dan Brooks, Patty (Mike) Gostola, Bill (Ann) Brooks, Bill (Vicky) Judge, John Judge, Katherine (Rick) Perkins, JoAnne Swogger, Pat (Lynne) Judge, Jerry (Marilyn) Judge, Jeanette (Larry) Murra, Jeanne (Mike) Hottinger, Don (Cindy) Judge, Karol (Tom) Brown, Jack (Cora) Neyer, Rose Marie McFarlane, Ken (Diane) Neyer, and Jane (Mike) Bacon; nieces and nephew by marriage, Marianne Judge, Terry Judge, Chris Dundis, Steve Hein, Virginia Judge, and Ann Neyer. She was preceded in death by her parents, Dan and Katherine Judge; husband, Kenneth; siblings, Dorothy Brooks, Thomas Judge, Marie Stangle, James Judge, Joseph Judge, Kathleen Neyer, and Raymond Judge; two step-daughters, Ruth Ann Montgomery and Rose Mary Ruby; five nephews, Jim Judge, Tom Judge, Ed Brooks, Bob Neyer, Dan Judge; two nieces, Kathryn Dundis and Judy Hein; and two nieces and nephew by marriage, Eileda Brooks, Beth Judge, and George Swogger. To leave a condolence for the family or to sign the online guestbook please visit www.CharlesRLux.com