Civic activist Ruby Jo Halden, 84, died at home Monday, May 6, 2013. Service: Mass of Christian Burial at 2 p.m. Saturday at Holy Family Catholic Church. Interment: Greenwood Memorial Park. Visitation: 6 p.m. Friday at Thompson's Harveson and Cole with a rosary at 7 p.m. Memorials: Donations may be made to the Bishop's Scholars Fund, in care of the Diocese of Fort Worth, 800 W. Loop 820, Fort Worth, Texas 76108; or the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, 909 W. Shaw St., Fort Worth, Texas 76110. Ruby Jo was born Oct. 5, 1928 in El Dorado, Ark., the only child of the late Ruby McNaughton and Joseph Henry Dougherty. She grew up in Longview, where she marched in the high school band. As a musician, Ruby Jo became proficient in the flute, violin, piano, and harmonica. And at a time when it was unusual for women to pursue such credentials, Ruby Jo entered the business school at the University of Texas
at the age of 16, and was one of only two women to earn a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1948. Ruby Jo married Dr. E. Richard Halden Jr. in 1950 and they made their home in Fort Worth where they raised their seven children. They were longtime members of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church. However, her true vocation lay with the preservation of historic Fort Worth sites and community organizations. She was instrumental in saving the Winfield Scott home, Thistle Hill, by establishing Save-the-Scott-Home and Texas Heritage Inc. Ruby Jo was a founding member of the Ryan Place Improvement Association and was instrumental in the National Register designating Elizabeth Boulevard the first residential Historic District in the city. She was also a founding member of I-CARE, the grassroots organization that lobbied successfully against the expansion of the I-30 overhead that once blighted downtown Fort Worth. She supported the arts as well, serving for many years on the boards of the Symphony League and Casa Manana. She also served on the Fort Worth Planning Commission and Zoning Commission. Along with her many civic duties, Ruby Jo worked full time managing medical offices for a number of physicians during her lifetime. In addition to her parents and husband, Ruby Jo was preceded in death by a son, Patrick. Survivors: Her sons, Richard Halden and wife, Debra, Timothy Halden and Michael Halden; daughters, Diane Provenza and husband, Frank, Lisa Griffith and husband, David, and Rebecca Lusher and husband, Rodney; grandchildren, Patrick Halden, Jennifer Kelley and husband, Adam, Halden Griffith, and Rachel and Renee Lusher.