Ruby Junette Sterling passed away October 16, 2020 at the age of 99. Since July of 2017 she had resided at the Benefis Memory Care Unit where she received the kind and loving care of all the staff who looked after her.
Ruby was born August 19, 1921 in Collins, MT to Abraham and Helga Edwards. She was the oldest of four children born to Helga.
She attended elementary school in Collins, MT then transferred to Dutton High School where she graduated in 1939. During her years at Dutton High School, Ruby was on the Girls Basketball Team, playing first string even in her Freshman year.
An education was very important to Ruby. She attended Northern MT College in Havre, MT earning her teaching certificate. Ruby taught for one year at Pleasant Ridge, a country schoolhouse in Power, MT, then two years at the elementary school in Sun River, MT. While attending summer school in Washington for continuing education, the superintendent of the Snoline Elementary School offered Ruby a teaching position with that district. Ruby decided to make Seattle, WA her home. For the next 30 years, Ruby taught 3rd grade being employed the entire time at Snoline Elementary School. The Governor of the state of Washington, Daniel J. Evans, bestowed a great honor upon Ruby by making her the Honorary Principal of Snoline Elementary School on May 26, 1975. This commendation was for the tireless and diligent effort made by Ruby in her years of service as a teacher.
It was in Washington where Ruby met the man who was to become her future husband. On July 24, 1956, Ruby and Victor Sterling were married in Dutton, MT. They were married for more than 30 years when he passed away in 1987. Subsequently, Ruby moved back to MT in 1988 to be closer to her family. She had lived in Great Falls since that time.
Ruby was stalwart in her devotion to family. She gave family her gracious hospitality whenever they would visit. Always she was a strength and encouragement to them. Her home was a place of refuge, comfort and security. Anyone could stay as long as they wanted with Ruby. She nurtured them and loved them unconditionally, just as she did with the small pupils whom she taught for all those years. Ruby made everyone feel great hope and confidence in themselves and brought much joy to everyone who knew her. One of her greatest assets was her positive attitude toward life.
Get-together’s were frequent in Ruby’s home. Birthdays, weddings and holidays were celebrated throughout the year with family and friends alike being warmly welcomed. In their neighborhood, Ruby and her sister, Helen, were lovingly called the “party girls”. Even in the last three years when Ruby was in the Benefis Memory Care Unit, she had many visitors who came to celebrate her birthdays with her there. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Ruby was preceded in death by her mother, Helga (1958), her father, Abe (1977), her sister, Ruth (1930) and her husband, Victor (1987). She is survived by her son, Ron Welch (Florida), her brother, Kenneth Edwards (Kalispell) and her sister, Helen Christianson (Great Falls).
Croxford Funeral Home of Great Falls is in charge of Ruby’s interment. No services will be held at this time. A private family and friends’ graveside memorial will be held at the Dutton, MT cemetery in June 2021.
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