Ruby Jeannette Bruns, 80, of Langley, Whidbey Island, Washington passed away peacefully on July 7, 2014 from the effects of cancer. Born on November 26, 1933 in Rose Hill, Virginia to Oda and Mae Matlock, Ruby grew up in rural Virginia, the second of six children. She graduated from Radford College, majoring in Education. It was at Radford College where she would meet her husband Don Bruns, who was attending Virginia Tech, at a Big Band Dance. They caught each other's eye during the intermission and danced the remainder of the evening together. A whirlwind romance was soon followed by a wedding. Their life together was filled with travel and adventure, spending many cherished moments boating on their cabin cruiser the Sea-Way. While not a "natural sailor" Ruby learned to love it and became an accomplished First Mate. In addition to boating they also traveled throughout the USA, Canada, Europe, China, Mexico and Australia. They celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary in 2013, a true and enduring love story. Most of their married life was spent in Edmonds, Washington moving to Snohomish, Washington and eventually Whidbey Island, Washington after her retirement from teaching. Ruby worked as an Elementary School teacher in the Edmonds School District for over 25 years, serving classrooms throughout the District, teaching Kindergarten through Third Grade. Not one to sit still too long, Ruby took up gardening after retirement. She successfully became a Master Gardener and poured much of her free time into building a beautiful, large garden on Whidbey. She also enjoyed painting and quilting, bestowing beautiful finished quilts on many family members and friends. Ruby stayed active on Whidbey Island, taking numerous classes and socializing with her friends in the Baby Island community. Family was always important to Ruby, and she doted on all of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Ruby is survived by her husband of over 60 years, Donald Bruns; children, Lori (Larry Stein) of Loveland, Colorado, Scott (Dawn Holbrook) of Selah, Washington, Karl (Jackie) of Freeland, Washington and Sarah (Todd Stine) of Edmonds, Washington. She is survived by six grandchildren, two great grandchildren; sisters, Sarah Olsen (Ken) of Radford, Va., Maureen Hopkins (Bill) of Rose Hill, Va.; a brother Boise Ralph Matlock of Cleveland, Ohio; and many nieces, nephews and friends. A private family memorial is planned at a later date.
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Published in The Herald (Everett) on July 20, 2014