All are welcome to attend in person or by live stream
Ruben R. Day passed into eternal life on Dec. 3, 2020, due to Covid-19- related complications.
He was born at home on Oct. 3, 1933, in La Colonia, a Hispanic community on the south side of Billings. Born of immigrant parents from Mexico, Louis and Amada Day (Diaz y Pumarino), Ruben was the youngest of six children (Louie Day, Amada “Neetz” Strom, Delia Hofferber, Herman Day and Nancy Diaz). He was the last of his generation, as his siblings have all passed.
Ruben attended public schools until the sixth grade when he entered the Catholic school system at Kate Fratt School. In 1953, he graduated from Billings Central Catholic High School, where he excelled in football and basketball. He attended Eastern Montana College and then entered the Army and served in Korea for 16 months. Ruben then attended Carroll College in Helena and Wisconsin State in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where he met the love of his life, Nancy Fisher. On June 7, 1958, they were married at St. Patrick’s Church in Eau Claire. After their marriage, they lived in Denver, Kalispell, and eventually settled in Billings, where Ruben continued a career in the insurance business. Focusing on sales, he joined Pioneer Petentler, which eventually became Hoiness LaBar Insurance. Ruben was an integral part in the growth of the company as it later became a national agency, PayneWest Insurance. Ruben specialized in insurance for banking and educational institutions. His insurance career spanned a remarkable 45 years!
Ruben’s business and community service were exemplary. He was chairman of the board of Western Security Bank for seven years, a Rotary member for 26 years (serving as a board member for two years), a board member for the Northern Rockies Cancer Center, along with a seven-year stint as a board member and Chairman (two years) of the Deaconess Development Foundation. As his children attended the Catholic Schools, Ruben and Nancy became active in Catholic education. In 1972, Ruben and a committee of six others founded the Billings Area Catholic Education Trust (BACET). He and Nancy were also integral in promoting increased involvement in the “Century Club,” which helped raise operating funds. The couple worked the Search Program for over 10 years, as the religious growth of students was a high priority. In 1992, he was the recipient of the National Catholic Educational Association Distinguished Graduate Award. He was also honored by his colleagues as he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from PayneWest in 2014.
While Ruben believed in and loved God above all else, on earth there was nothing more important to him than his wife, Nancy, and his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.The mantra of his life was Faith, Family and Friends. His friendships were too numerous to count. Ruben would endlessly go out of his way to connect with others, friends and strangers alike. Leaving an encounter with Ruben, one felt important, loved and respected. He had “smiling eyes,” as his natural demeanor was contagious and joyful.
The overwhelming number of condolences and sentiments given to his family is a remarkable testament to Ruben’s character and life. Ruben was loved by the multitudes! He will be missed by his family and all those who knew him.
Ruben was preceded in death by his parents and his six siblings. He is survived by: his wife of 62 years, Nancy; his children, Joni Day-Rains (Jim), Mike (Lisa), Cathy and Jim (Katie); grandchildren Casey, Jamie and Haley Rains; Maria (Jordan) Henke, Molly, Sarah, Johnny and Gracie Day; Samantha and Emily Day; two great-granddaughters, Hayden and Sawyer Henke; and his many nieces and nephews.
The Vigil service will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, at St. Thomas The Apostle Church. The funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 18, also at St. Thomas.
Memorials would be welcomed in Ruben’s name to the organizations he supported: Billings Catholic Schools Foundation, LaVie Early Pregnancy Services or KJCR-Billings Catholic Radio.
The family would like to thank the staff, nurses and doctors who heroically cared for Ruben in his final days at St. Vincent Hospital, especially his granddaughter Molly who was there as an RN to help.
Vaya con Dios, Papa! Until we meet again! To be continued……..