Ruby Marie Williams was born December 29, 1925 in the Caddo Parish of Shreveport, Louisiana to David and Ida Mae Williams. She was the eighth of ten children, three brothers: David Williams, Jr., Rufus Tyler “Nutt” Williams, and Leroy Williams and six sisters: Willie Mae Walker, Helen Wesley, Ethel “Pocket” Mothershed, Daisy Lee Adams, Pearlene “Sonny” Trammell and Bernice “Beatty” Spells, all of whom preceded her in death.
While living in Shreveport, Ruby worked as a checker and marker at a dry cleaner for eleven years. While in Shreveport, she met William Davenport and from that relationship, she gave birth to her beautiful daughter, Meredith. When her sister Ethel moved to California, she shared with Ruby tales of the beauty of a state where it was always sunny, and the opportunities were plentiful. So, in 1960, Ruby packed up herself and little Meredith and moved to Northern California.
Ethel had shared with her husband’s co-worker, Frederick, that her single and pretty sister was coming to California. So, Frederick made it a point to be present when Ruby arrived. Ethel often tells of how Frederick was hanging around and when asked why he was coming by so often, he admitted that he was there to meet her sister, Ruby. Frederick Douglas Boyd, Sr. fell head over heels for Miss Ruby and two years later they were married on January 13, 1962. Later that year, Sandra Renee was born to that union. The Boyd family settled in Menlo Park, California and remained there until they moved to Riverside, California in August 1974. Fred preceded Ruby in death.
Ruby accepted Christ at an early age at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana under the pastorate of Rev. D.V. Martin. In 1976, she visited Mount Vernon M.B.C. and never looked back. There she flourished and faithfully served as a member of the choir, church secretary, president and vice-president of the Mission Board, a Deaconess and an usher. She had found her niche and continued to serve on the Usher Board holding the door and graciously welcoming guests and members into the house of the Lord. Ruby used her talent as a seamstress to sew usher badges until 2018 at the age of 92 when health issues forced her to stop.
She was a loving, generous and caring woman who was loved by all who were blessed to encounter her presence. She possessed talent and creativity and used those gifts to help others. She was a milliner as well as an incredible seamstress and upholsterer. Along with her husband, Fred,
Ruby completed up to the eleventh grade in high school where she excelled in sewing. She worked as a checker and marker in laundromats and dry cleaners while she lived in Shreveport and for a while after she arrived in California. However, Ruby always striving to better herself, she was able obtain employment with Syntax Laboratories where she learned to make birth control pills. She remained there until moving to Riverside where she became a stencil tipper at Uarco. She remained there until she semi-retired in order to provide childcare to her grandchildren while her daughter, Sandra, worked and attended college. She then trained and began driving school busses for special education in Riverside Unified School District where she remained until she fully retired. Never content to just sit, Ruby took several courses at the community center behind West Riverside Elementary School where she excelled in millinery and upholstery. With these talents she would make her own hats to wear to church and other functions. And, along with her husband, Fred, who would bring home discarded furniture from off the side of the road, she would take the discarded findings, upholster them, then gift those treasures to needy families in the community. Another talent was her green thumb. She could transplant a piece of a flower and cause it to flourish. She had a beautiful garden that produced the best collard greens that was served at many a family gathering along with the best fried chicken ever! And on the week before any holiday, her kitchen would be transformed into a salon that produced some of the best “patent leather” presses around. Though her education was limited, Ruby encouraged her daughters, along with many of her grandchildren, to further their education, many of whom now possess college degrees. There are Associates, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorates and Doctor of Medicine. Amid these degrees, there is a sprinkling of Ruby’s contribution in each.
Ruby is survived by her four children: Calvin Thaddeus Boyd, Xenophone Lamar Rhone (Deborah), Meredith Vandivier, and Sandra Renee Radford; Ten Grandchildren: Calvin Maurice Boyd (Kelley), Xenophone Lamar Rhone, Jr. (Tae), Terrence Boyd, Lorna Lynn Hurley (Jeremy), Vanessa Renee Vandivier, Tavia LaNe' Rucker (Lionnell), Loretta A. Mitalo (Francis), Tiama LaMia Soule (Xavier), Frederick Douglas Boyd II, and David Isaac Smith; 20 great-grandchildren; 17 great-great grandchildren along with a host of nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.
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