Life Story / Obituary
Ruby Brownie (Corne) Golaski
Ruby Brownie (Corne) Golaski, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, PTA president, bank teller, entrepreneur, church secretary, undying supporter and defender of her children, died Monday, November 30, 2015, at the age of 93. She is now with her God—and my God.
Ruby was born at home, the third child of George Few Corne and Luvenia Beatrice (Heaton) Corne. Ruby was birthed and reared in and around Hendersonville, North Carolina. Her early life was filled with butter churning, ice block pick-up, tending her dad’s fruit stand, roller skating, and big dinners with her family and the minister of their church and visiting preachers of tent meetings.
When a freshman at Hendersonville High School, she transferred to Bob Jones Academy in Tennessee with the financial help of her older sister Kitty. She flourished there, graduating from the academy in 1941. The next fall, she entered Bob Jones College, graduating from its business school in 1942.
After college, she moved to Indianapolis, Indiana—her home city for most of the rest of her life. While single, she worked as a secretary at Kingan’s Meat Packing Company. In a meeting arranged by her mother at the Claypool Hotel, she met her partner of 67 years: Stanley William Golaski, a man in uniform, stationed at Stout Field in Indianapolis.
She easily fell into the role of wife then mother, giving birth to Sandra Jean Golaski in 1944 then to Stanley William Golaski, Jr. in 1948. Ruby was a constant in their lives. She taught them how to ride bikes, to collect warm chicken eggs from under a sitting hen, to go barefoot in the mud, to pick up entwined night crawlers in the garden. Always, she protected and encouraged her children. They were smart, handsome, beautiful, and could do anything, according to her. Her children’s lives became her life through the 1960’s: PTA, square dance lessons to their gym classes, float building assistant, summer reading tutor, maker of dance decorations, test studier assistance, and quizzer of possible exam questions.
When extra money was necessary for most anything, including college expenses, she worked: William H. Block Company in the doll department, American Fletcher National Bank as a teller, and Indianapolis Baptist Temple as secretary to Rev. Greg Dixon.
Vacations were normally spent in the mountains or flatlands of North Carolina or in the farm fields or beaches of New Jersey or New York. But always they were with our colorful grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
On August 1, 1970, her son married Ann Marie Sprong, later gifting Ruby with her granddaughter Stephanie Rachelle Golaski and her grandson Stanley William Golaski, III. She entertained them with Easter egg hunts, breakfasts with Santa, vegetable picking in Papa’s garden, and summers in Sag Harbor, New York.
When she was 83, her husband was diagnosed with dementia, and the role of caregiver she had played her entire life, demanded a new level of care giving. Doctors, CT scans, driving, repairs, lawn, bills, car, their life and all of its worries became solely hers.
Over time, her friends and family died, but none of those deaths prepared her for the death of her son in February 1999 at the age of 50. The sorrow did not cripple her, but the sorrow never abated.
She is my heroine. First came oral cancer. Just minutes before surgery, the doctor explained that sometimes the cancer demands a face be disfigured; sometimes an eye taken. And with that, she stood and walked away, down the hall to the operating room with a wave and a smile—as if she were at peace with what might be.
In 1969, she lost the center vision in her left eye. And by 2008, macular degeneration blurred her right eye, and dinner plates, letters, and faces were no longer clear.
In 2008, she and Dad packed up clothes and a lifetime of memories and climbed into the car for a life near their daughter. The move was not deserved, desired, or embraced, but what is is, so it was done. She wept as we drove away from the place where she had lived and loved and cried and laughed for 50 years.
So what was her legacy to the writer of this, her daughter? A belief in God, honesty, a love of animals, independence, strength, self-confidence, devotion to family, cooking, common sense, love of travel, a drive to know and to understand, confrontation when necessary, the belief that I was born for a special purpose that only I could fulfill, joy, contentment, and …watch biscuits very closely while they bake, you can’t eat too many peanut butter sandwiches, and a hatred of fish sticks.
She will be terribly missed. Never again will I have the joy of having her protect me. Never again will I have the joy of receiving in the mail just the right size, color, and style dress I need. Never again will I have the joy of feeling not just that I am connected to another human being, but that I am a part and flesh of another human being.
During the two weeks before her death she walked the yard she enjoyed with her two English Springer Spaniels, Annie and Gunner. Everything was beautiful to her, but especially the trees and especially the tall poplars. She clapped and tapped her foot to Bob’s bluegrass music then danced her way into the kitchen. She joined in a gathering at French Manor where she sang, danced, and laughed. That night, she lay down, pulled her blanket close around her neck, and fell forever asleep.
Private Services were held at the Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City. Private burial was held next to her husband in the Forest Lawn Memory Garden, Greenwood, Indiana. Memorial Contributions may be made to a charity of choice. Please visit Ruby's webpage at www.lifestorytc.com to read more, view photos, sign the guest book, share a message or memory with her family and more. The family chose Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City to handle the services.