A native Tennessean, she grew up during the Great Depression, enduring poverty and abuse from an alcoholic father and others in her large extended family. It was largely her godly mother's love, teaching, and examples in word and deed that she commanded the strength to rise above her circumstances.
At age five, Ruby became a constant and diligent worker and was soon a champion in the field and at home. She absorbed her mother's advice to trust God, work hard, get an education, never accept charity, and "be somebody" (her mother's exact words). These traits helped her to become self-sufficient at age thirteen. She garnered many honors during her life: class valedictorian, girl with the sweetest face in Tennessee, Miss Obion, state winner in Heritage Arts, county winner in dressmaking and in spelling, and winner of a national collegiate speaking contest. Belatedly, she earned an MA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and became a public speaker, teacher, and writer. She composed proprietary materials for BellSouth and served as a freelance reporter for the Birmingham News. Her articles have appeared in the Tennessee Genealogical Magazine, A Page in Time, and Christian Woman.
Her triumphs over such odds are instructive and entertaining and should inspire all ages past childhood, particularly teenagers who deal with difficulties.