March 30, 1933 - August 26, 2020 Cherished husband, father, and grandfather, Joseph "Joe" Clemens Ruby passed away peacefully at home on August 26, 2020 surrounded by his family.Joe was born in Los Angeles, CA on March 30, 1933. After graduating from Fairfax High School, Joe enlisted in the US Navy during the Korean War where he served on a destroyer as a sonar operator. After the war, Joe continued to serve in the Marine Reserves.In 1956, he met his beloved wife, Carole, and they married in 1957.Joe was a lucky man. He truly loved what he did up until his last days. Joe was a huge comic book fan and dreamed of a career as an artist. Despite his dad's (a doctor) advice, Joe followed his passion. He was talented enough to be hired by Walt Disney Studios in their animation program. Knowing it would take years to become a full-fledged animator with a family to support, Joe transferred out of the animation department to the Disney editorial department as a music editor. But Joe never gave up his love of comics, and on the side he found work as a freelance comic book artist and writer.At Hanna Barbara Editorial, Joe met his future business partner and lifelong friend, Ken Spears. They formed a writing partnership and wrote a spec script, which lead to being hired as staff writers at Hanna-Barbara Productions. At H&B, they went on to create the iconic character and TV series, Scooby Doo. In 1977, Joe fulfilled another dream when he and Ken launched their own animation studio Ruby-Spears Productions. Ruby-Spears produced many hit animated series including Fangface, Thundarr the Barbarian, Mr. T, Plasticman, Chuck Norris and garnered several Emmy Award nominations and a Humanitas Award. Joe was an honest and loyal man, whose integrity was unmatched. This was routinely displayed both in business and his personal relationships. Joe treated everyone with dignity and respect, regardless of their position in life. He gave many people a start in Hollywood at all different levels, and was especially partial to people who were down on their luck. In addition to a successful career, Joe had a large loving family, including four children and ten grandchildren who adored him. Joe loved telling them stories from his youth. He especially loved recalling his days in the Navy and the times he had with his high school friends, which often were filled with adventurous, frolicking night-time escapades.Joe also had a passion for fishing, old classic movies, and football which he played in high school. He enjoyed gardening and was a dog lover. Most of all, Joe had a great sense of humor and loved to laugh, particularly at himself. Annual family vacations were spent in Cabo, where Joe enjoyed fishing and spending time with his entire family, grandchildren and all. His Jewish faith played an increasingly important role in his life, and Joe was bar mitzvahed at the age of thirty-nine. Joe was a blessed man. A real man. He was truly a rare man. He is survived by his wife of sixty-three years, Carole, four children, Cliff Ruby (Elana), Deanna Zevin, Craig Ruby (Flor), Debby Winsberg (Lew) and ten grandchildren, Carly (Kevin), Zach, Evan (Marie), Hasy, Adam (Ande), Max, Ben, Blake, Sage and Kate.
Published in Los Angeles Times on Aug. 27, 2020.