Ruby Ambrose Gray, 96, formerly of CatoSeptember 22, 2020
Ruby Ambrose Gray, 96, formerly of Cato, Indiana, was given back to God Saturday Sept 19, she had a peaceful passing at home with her daughter and granddaughter by her side. She left behind a grieving but tremendously grateful family for having loved and been loved by such an especially wonderful woman.
Born on March 21, 1924 in Ohio County Kentucky, She was the daughter of George Washington Ambrose and Cora Jackson Ambrose. The youngest and last surviving, of three children she grew up on the family farm and graduated from Daviess County High School in Owensboro, Kentucky.
Having lived through the great depression she joined the workforce as a factory supervisor during World War II, helping to train other women working on the line to make communication parts for the war effort.
A war bride, in 1944 she married James “Jim” Lowell Gray, an electronics mechanic in the army and native of Pike Co. Indiana.
When her husband was stationed in Hawaii, Ruby moved from Kentucky to Indiana to be close to his family, she continued her war support by working in Huntingburg, Indiana. After the war, Ruby and Lowell worked in Otwell, IN for a short stint running a gas station owned at the time by Lowell’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lisle and Ruth Gray. Always one up to the challenge of something new, Ruby would often be found doing everything from pumping gas and cleaning windshields to running the register. Then in 1951, after briefly having moved to Indianapolis where their first daughter, Patty, was born, they returned to Pike Co. to take over Gray’s General Store in Cato IN. A woman of many talents, an ever positive attitude, and boundless energy, Ruby helped to run the busy store for many years, becoming a familiar and friendly face to those passing through Cato. All the while raising a family which soon included her 2nd child, Cyndi born in 1954. In 1966, Lowell and Ruby designed and built their dream house just up the road on Hwy. 56. The front of the house was to serve as a showroom and workshop for Gray’s Electric, where they were one of the first places in the area to sell and service televisions.
As a follower of Jesus, she and Lowell where deeply committed members of Mount Olive General Baptist Church, where he was a deacon and she played piano and organ and helped run vacation bible school for decades.
Ruby was an upstanding member of the local community always willing to lend a hand, share a laugh, or bake a casserole to take to a family during hard times. As a member of her local Home Economics Club she enjoyed learning about new gardening and homemaking techniques. Ever a jokester, she particularly loved to dress up for Halloween, enjoying to keep neighbors guessing as to who that “funny ‘ole hobo” was! A solid support for her family, having lost her mother unexpectedly in 1951, she was able to care for her father at her home until his passing in 1970.
After her children left home, she was able to devote more time to artistic hobbies and pursuits, winning many ribbons for her ceramics entries into the county and state fairs. And for a while she joined her husband in taking up bowling in a league, until after winning a trophy or two, at the risk of bruising his ego, she decided to leave being the sports winner to her husband “Jim”. Once her grandchildren, who adored her, came along she enjoyed spoiling them during long summer visits, making them “club houses” out of old refrigerator boxes, and hosting lemonade and cookie “tea parties” under the clothesline tents she fashioned from old quilts.
In later years, Ruby, and Lowell, who retired from the USPS, enjoyed taking organized trips with friends, visits to family all over the states, and wintering in warmer climates.
In 1999, Ruby suffered 2 tragedies in quick succession, her second born daughter Cynthia Sue Pully, formerly of Virginia Beach, VA and her dearly beloved husband, Lowell, of 55 years were tragically lost to her, resulting from separate car accidents barely 1 months apart. While crushed by these devastating blows of preceding deaths, it is a testament to her strength of character and will that she was able to find solace and love again in the many years that followed.
In 2002 Ruby met and then later married Vanice Smith, formerly of Velpen, IN. They had 12 comfortable and happy years together before his death in 2014. After this time Ruby moved to live with her eldest daughter Patricia LaFollette, and granddaughter Kristina Gray, of Louisville Ky.
In these last golden years of life, Ruby’s family determined to provide her with as much joy, happiness and love as possible. She enjoyed going to see plays, a cruise to the Bahamas for her 93rd birthday, going to see the 2nd full eclipse of the sun in her life, and lots of parties and laughter.
She is survived by her daughter Patricia LaFollette of Louisville KY, her grandchildren, Kristina Gray of Louisville KY, Alison Singer Walker of Odenton, MD, William Pully Jr. of Virginia Beach VA., and Bonnie Williams Huebner of Evansville IN, along with great-grandchildren, Aria and Liam Walker of Odenton, MD. Also survived by nieces and nephews, Michael Howard of Jasper IN, Brenda Howard Benner of Cato IN, Joe Dragoo of Evansville IN, Alice Dragoo Adams of Dawson Springs KY, Jerry Ambrose of Mt. Vernon, IN, Cora Ambrose Tanner and Gary Ambrose of Owensboro KY, and Nick Ambrose of Cape Coral FL.
Funeral services will be held at 2pm on Friday, September 25, 2020 at Harris Funeral Home in Petersburg, IN, with visitation from 10am until service time. Burial will follow at Vincent Christian Church Cemetery on Hwy 56, just east of Cato, IN.
Online condolences may be made at www.odharrisfuneralhome.com.
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