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Ruby Lenore (Church) Riddle

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Ruby Lenore (Church) Riddle Obituary
Fairbanks has lost a special lady. Fairbanks Official Hostess, Ruby Lenore Church Riddle passed away at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital Thursday afternoon, Nov. 1, 2012, surrounded by friends.
A St. Patrick's Day gift to her parents, Ruby was born March 17, in Lenoir, N.C. In celebration of her birthdays, Ruby, who rarely consumed alcohol, always relished the one glass of green beer she allowed herself.
Ruby's youth was spent with her six sisters and three brothers in North Carolina. Always the independent spirit, as a young adult, she headed north and arrived in Fairbanks in 1963.
Eighth Avenue was Ruby's address from the early days of establishing Fairbanks as her home until her death. She loved the proximity to the Traveler's Inn, now the Westmark Hotel, where many functions are held. Most every day she could be seen in the Red Lantern Restaurant reading the Anchorage Daily News set aside specifically for her.
Ruby was the consummate fashion saleswoman at NC Company, which later became Nordstrom. When Nordstrom closed, Ruby worked in retail sales at Lamonts until her retirement in 1989. As a testament to her passion for her work in women's fashion retail, Ruby was never seen without coordinated elegant clothing always fully accessorized.
Not one to just sit around the house after her retirement, Ruby followed her interests in the community for which she was passionate. To quote Ruby, "People think when you retire your life is over. I'm telling you, it's just beginning."
Fairbanks was her home, and when her sister asked her to move back to North Carolina, Ruby's response was adamantly, "No." She told her sister that "Fairbanks is heaven."
Designated Fairbanks Official Hostess by the City of Fairbanks in 2001, and the Fairbanks North Star Borough in 2006, Ruby L. Riddle embraced this honor and fulfilled this role with serious commitment.
Ruby was involved with the military, Chamber of Commerce, election canvassing, and the Annual Senior Recognition Luncheon. There were few military events she missed. The same goes for local government. Rarely did she miss a Borough Assembly meeting, often including work sessions. Ruby's reserved seat at the entrance to the Borough Assembly chambers was a source of pride for her and will be forever known as being reserved for Ruby Riddle.
With a camera constantly in her possession, "Southern Ms. Ruby" - as she referred to herself - shot and shared hundreds of photos as she interacted with people at local functions. After writing on the back of each photo the location, date and names, the photos were lovingly nestled in handwritten notecards mailed to the subjects in the photos in envelopes festooned with fancy or whimsical stickers.
Among Ruby's admirers are national, state and local dignitaries, military members of all ranks and many in the community. Most everyone in Fairbanks knew of Ms. Ruby even if they had never met her.
Her legacy will be permanently imprinted in the history of Fairbanks.
Ruby Riddle was preceded in death by her sisters Goldie Mae Simmons, Colleen Davidson, Mary Faye Chapman, Shirley Wray Robbins and Delilah Joan Church, and brothers Col. William Vern Church and Jim Roger Church.
Survivors include her sister Olivia Miller, brother Carl B. Church Jr. and niece Karla Miller, all of Lenoir, N.C., and numerous nieces and nephews. She will be greatly missed by her good friends Camella and Dan Motas, Mona Drexler, Lenny Reagin, Judy Warwick, Karen Fox and numerous others.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, in the Great Hall of the Civic Center at Pioneer Park.
In lieu of flowers, Ruby would have appreciated donations designated to Denali Center in her memory.
Please visit www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsminer to sign the online guest book.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Nov. 5, 2012
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