Ruby Morris, 79, of Billings, passed away on Aug. 29, 2011, a resident of Fischer Cottage at St. John’s Nursing Home.
Ruby Pearl (Lindstrom) Morris was born at home on Aug. 26, 1932, at her family’s farm near Carlyle, Mont. Ruby was the daughter of Otto and Minnie (Hartse) Lindstrom. She grew up on her parents’ farm, graduating from Wibaux High School as the Salutatorian of the class of 1950. Following graduation, Ruby attended the University of Montana (Montana State University at that time), graduating in 1954 with a Business major and a Home Economics minor. Surrounded by Bobcats in her family, she remained a loyal Grizzlies fan. After her graduation, Ruby taught high school for one year in Cut Bank, marrying her high school sweetheart Robert Morris on Aug. 28, 1955, and moving to Bozeman, where she worked for the university until he graduated in 1957. Robert and Ruby then moved directly to Billings, where she was employed by Exxon, leaving work to devote her life to her family upon the birth of her first child.
Ruby was a dedicated and loving wife and mother, with a passion to always be using her mind and her talents. When her children were young, she founded a ladies’ investment club that succeeded financially while providing the opportunity for the neighborhood women to enjoy social time while their children played. Ruby held a variety of part-time jobs when her children were younger, eventually entering the Billing Public School system as a substitute teacher. Ruby was never afraid of a challenge and one of her family’s favorite stories was of the week she was called to substitute in a high school calculus class — which she did by reading the textbook each night before the next day’s lessons! Ruby returned to full-time employment as a teacher of Business and Home Economics at Billings Senior High in 1980, retiring from teaching in 1996. She and her husband Bob wintered in Tucson, Ariz., as long as her health allowed, returning as full-time residents of Billings in 2004.
Ruby’s hands, heart and door were always open to her friends and the friends of her children, whom she supported in their academic, social and extracurricular activities. Any program her children were involved with was assured of a dedicated booster and a guaranteed chaperone whenever needed. She gave of her time and her heart and never expected anything in return. Her family meant everything to her and she will be missed by many.
Among those left to mourn her passing are her husband, Robert N. Morris of Billings; sons Gary Morris of Sunnyvale, Calif., and Roger Morris of Kent, Wash.; daughter Traci Morris of Shepherdstown, W.Va.; one sister, Mary Jane McMullen of El Cajon, Calif.; as well as six grandchildren, one great-grandson and several nieces, nephews and cousins. Ruby is preceded in death by her parents; her brother, William Lindstrom; sisters Cora Blair and Florence Smith; as well as Florence’s daughter, her close-in-age niece Bonnie (Smith) Hutchinson.
Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary (www.michelottisawyers.com) of Billings. Visitation will be from 1 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, at Michelotti-Sawyers of Billings. Ruby’s funeral service, officiated by Curt Haney, is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 2, at 11 a.m., at American Lutheran Church, with a reception immediately following at the church. Graveside services will be held at Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park at the conclusion of the reception for those who wish to attend.
The family would like to thank the staff of Fischer Cottage for their loving care of Ruby while she was a resident there. The family requests that any memorial donations be made to St. John’s Foundation (http://www.stjohnsliving.org/donate-gift) in recognition of this dedication. Alternately, any support of the Alzheimer’s Association (http://www.alz.org/join_the_cause_donate.asp) is an appropriate tribute to Ruby’s life and grace as she lived with this disease.