Ruby H. Wood, 91, died peacefully at her home in Farmington on Wednesday, March 11, 2009. She was born in Hogback, on January 23, 1918, to Atsuma Blackhorse.
She was preceded in death 29 years ago by her husband, James Walter (Walt) Wood Sr., whom she married in 1939. Also preceding her in death were two children, Rose Marie and Stanley Wood of Waterflow.
She is survived by her son, James (Butch) Wood Jr. and wife, Kara of Kirtland; daughters, Princess Wood of Albuquerque, Julia Pennington of Waterflow, Margaret McKewan and husband, Gene, of Bloomfield, Charlene Battle of Farmington and Brandy Christy and husband, George, of Duncanville, Texas; 13 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.
Ruby grew up herding sheep on the reservation from the time she was a little girl and only had a Navajo name until she was given the English name, Ruby, at the boarding school in Shiprock. Her passion for sports led to her being a competitive basketball player at Toadlena. Throughout her lifetime, sports played a big part in her TV-watching and her favorite teams were the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Braves. Her love of sports carried over into a good game of Skip-Bo, which she played with her dear friends at Appleridge Apartments for over 20 years.
Although the boarding school experiences were difficult, Ruby never held a grudge, and this was a quality she worked to instill in her children. She was loved by her family, neighbors and friends, which she had in abundance.
She also enjoyed working in her flower garden, making ceramics, bead-working, quilting and was an excellent cook; no one left her home without being shown hospitality. She loved children, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and she always made time to show this love by playing games with them, talking with them and entertaining them by playing her harmonica.
Ruby met her husband, Walt, at Hogback, in the 1930's. He worked in the trading post; she worked as the house-keeper and cared for the children at the home of the Wheeler family. She knew how to work hard and she carried that work ethic throughout her lifetime. She believed the Biblical principal: "if you don't work you don't eat!" Ruby followed her husband to various mining camps around New Mexico, and as rough as that life was, she never complained. They finally settled in Waterflow to raise their family.
For many years, Ruby was an interpreter on the Navajo reservation at Sanostee, for Reverend Albert E. Sammons of the Wesleyan Methodist Mission in Fruitland. Ruby believed that regardless of a person's circumstances, one had the choice to do what is right. She was an avid daily reader of God's Word, the Bible. Her motto would have been "I would rather see a sermon than hear one." She had many scriptures memorized and lived them out on a daily basis.
Ruby had been a member of the Waterflow Bible Baptist Church, but was currently a member of Grace Baptist Church in Farmington.
Mom will be greatly missed and in her honor, there will be a memorial service at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 21, at Grace Baptist Church on Sullivan Ave. in Farmington. Pastors Dan Mauldin and Don Chitty will officiate.
Those wishing to send condolences may do so at ww.danielsfuneral.com
Ruby is in the care of Brewer, Lee & Larkin Funeral Home, 103 E. Ute St. in Farmington, (505) 325-8688.