Photography

Ruby Alexander

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Obituary

Ruby Georgina Alexander (Mickelson) passed away on Saturday, April 11, 2020 in Roblin, MB at the Roblin Personal Care Home at the age of 96 years.

Ruby was born on July 29, 1923 to Oscar and Gladys Mickelson in Roblin.  Ruby was the second of seven children.  She grew up in the old brick house on the family farm south of Roblin near the Shell River valley and attended school in Roblin.  Ruby enjoyed working and playing with her family, including winter skating and summer swimming in the Shell River.  She loved to ride her horse “Lady” and was also an avid reader.

She graduated from high school in 1941 and spent a year teaching on permit in Cupar and then went to Normal School in 1943 for a year.  During the last months of WWII in 1944-45, Ruby joined her sister Lillian in Bremerton, Washington to work in the naval shipyard.  Over the years, Ruby often returned to Bremerton to spend time with Lillian and her family.

Upon returning to Canada, Ruby resumed her teaching career and always spoke fondly of the many children she had the chance to form lasting relationships with.  She taught in many rural schools, including Sandringham (near Dauphin), Wicklow (near Grandview), and Bield and also had tenures in Roblin, Winnipeg and Swan River.  She took special interest in those that had challenges learning and would provide extra help after school and on weekends.  Her official teaching career included more than 22 years of service, and she continued to help tutor any children who asked long after that.

In 1966, Ruby married Keith Alexander.  They lived in Winnipeg for a time where they were both going to university, and then lived in Kenville, Manitoba where Keith was a lay minister.  They also took in a foster child while living in Kenville. 

Paying special attention to those that were least able to help themselves was a hallmark of Ruby’s life.  After receiving her B.A. degree in psychology from the University of Winnipeg in 1970, she helped at the L’Arche home in Transcona, sat on a treatment panel for Community Services and Corrections in Winnipeg, and worked on numerous church and community committees. 

In 1972 Ruby’s mother, Gladys, passed on after a lengthy illness and her husband Keith also passed that same year.   Ruby was the primary caregiver for Oscar in his declining years and looked after him at home until he passed in 1987.  Over the years, she spent many an hour visiting residents in the Roblin Personal Care Home and was always looking to support those who needed it most. 

Her appreciation for history, and her dedication to preserving physical reminders was also a unique trait.  Ruby was an advocate for the upkeep and continuous use of the Tummel church, which continues to hold summer services.  When the decision was made in the 1970s to tear down the old Roblin Elementary School, Ruby was part of a vigorous campaign to save the school.  Ruby was a collector of many things, and even had a separate “museum” building next to the old brick house to keep her various artifacts.  She always had her camera with her and took countless family pictures.  She was also a faithful contributor of the Tummel News section in the Roblin Review, making sure that everyone know when one of her nieces or nephews was back in Roblin for a visit.

Her appreciation for history, and her dedication to preserving physical reminders was also a unique trait.  Ruby was an advocate for the upkeep and continuous use of the Tummel church, which continues to hold summer services.  When the decision was made in the 1970s to tear down the old Roblin Elementary School, Ruby was part of a vigorous campaign to save the school.  Ruby was a collector of many things, and even had a separate “museum” building next to the old brick house to keep her various artifacts.  She always had her camera with her and took countless family pictures.  She was also a faithful contributor of the Tummel News section in the Roblin Review, making sure that everyone know when one of her nieces or nephews was back in Roblin for a visit.

Although Ruby never had children of her own, the old brick house was regularly visited by nieces and nephews who Ruby doted over.  She loved having extended family picnics down by the Shell River and family walks to the “red rock” or to see the ravine running in the spring.  She kept track of relatives across the country and around the world to establish the basis for the family tree, and even visited the home country of Norway in 1994.

Ruby was constantly on the go to meetings and events until her cognitive abilities began to deteriorate.  She was keen to stay up to date on all current events, be they in the local community or anywhere in the world.  By 2008, Ruby was no longer able to live on her own and moved to Maple Manor and then moved again to the Roblin Personal Care Home in 2013.  She has resided there for the past seven years and the family would like to acknowledge the staff for the excellent care she received.

Ruby is survived by her sister Gladys and brother Oliver (Loretta); sister-in-law Laura Mickelson; nieces Claudia, Michelle, Heather, Susan, Cheryl, Allison and Brenda; nephews Ross, Jim and Myron, and numerous grand-nieces and grand-nephews.  She was predeceased by her husband Keith Alexander; sister Lillian Campbell (Jay), and brothers Mervyn, Earl (Bev), Roy (Joyce) and brother in law Don Shearer; and nephews Tommy, Miles, Barry, and Bob.

Those who so desire may make memorial donations in memory of Ruby to the Tummel Deer Park Cemetery or the Roblin District Community Foundation.

 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ruby Alexander, please visit our floral store.


Services

Private Family Funeral Service
Friday
April 17, 2020

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