Ruby Brock was born on February 15, 1924 in Forest City, Iowa to Bertha and Rudolph Strand. Her family immigrated to the United States from Norway. She grew up in Iowa and Minnesota during the Depression and enjoyed the closeness she felt in those small, rural communities. Ruby was an excellent student with a keen intellect and a superior memory for detail. As a young adult in the early 1940s, Ruby moved with her family to Oregon to find employment. She lived in west Salem and worked in Schreiner’s fields, the Del Monte cannery, as a cashier and later assistant manager for Warner Brothers that owned the Elsinore and Capitol theaters, and for the telephone company.
Ruby met her husband Howard on a blind date to an Oregon State University ball. They were married in 1951, living briefly in Medford and then moving to Grants Pass where Howard worked in the state and federal forests. Two daughters, Janet and Barb, were born there. As a homemaker, Ruby excelled at canning, cooking, sewing, and knitting. She even upholstered the living room furniture, at least twice.
In 1965, the family moved to Astoria where Howard taught forestry at Clatsop Community College. There Ruby had the opportunity to begin to pursue her dream to graduate from college. In late 1969, when the family moved to the Salem-Keizer area, she enrolled at Oregon College of Education (now WOU) and graduated with a degree in Humanities in 1975. She attended Willamette Law School and was offered a position as Title Examiner at Willamette Valley Title Company, where she worked until her retirement.
After retirement, Ruby traveled around the western United States and Canada with Howard in what she called the “tin tent” and enjoyed spending time with family. She was married for 54 years until Howard’s passing in 2005. In 2008, Ruby suffered a stroke and moved to Orchard Heights where she lived for the past ten years. She endured many health limitations but continued to offer kindness to all around her and was much loved by the residents and staff.
Ruby was preceded in death by her husband Howard, sister Sylvia, brother Raymond, and son-in-law Nick. She is survived by her daughters: Janet (Dee) Carlson and Barb Jones; along with six grandchildren: Erika (Keith) McCauley, Justin (Jessica) Carlson, Christian Carlson, Rick Jones, Kim (Frank) Gorgei, and Torrey (Audra) Jones; plus ten great grandchildren.
Ruby was one of the Greatest Generation – a strong and independent woman with high ideals who valued honesty, loyalty and work. She sacrificed her entire lifetime for her family and will be greatly missed.
The family expresses appreciation to the staff at Willamette Valley Hospice and Prestige Orchard Heights for their loving care, and to Virgil T. Golden and Belcrest Memorial Park for the funeral arrangements. A celebration of life will be held at Prestige Orchard Heights, 695 NW Orchard Heights Road, Salem, on Saturday, March 9, at 2 p.m.