Ruby Mae McCrary, “Ma” May 6th, 1936 - December 4th, 2021.
Ruby’s favorite librarian once told her when you read a book, read it three times - once for your head, once for your heart, and once so you can tell it again. I hope you find this obituary and follow the advice she believed in wholeheartedly. Ruby Mae McCrary, “Ma,” passed away in her home, at the blessed age of 85, on December 4th, 2021. Littered throughout her home were photographs of loved ones papering the walls like wanted ads, surrounding her and providing a foundation for her thoughts and prayers. If you’re reading this, know that your photo was on her wall or taped to her cabinets or stuck in the mirror and that you are loved. Ruby was born to Elwood, Sr. and Ethel Barrett, the sixth of seven children. She is preceded in death by her farming parents and her siblings: Pauline, Annalois, Margie, Margaret, Elwood Jr, and Betty. She is survived by her daughter, Chelsea (Matt) Sanders Carpenter, and numerous nieces and nephews. Ma reared most of the children in Vine and was a presence in the lives of every niece or nephew, every Sunday schooler, and every student at Southside who ate her chocolate chip cookies and called her “Ma.” Ruby made a practice of loving others; each year she would sit down with her calendar and fill in all the birthdays and anniversaries so she could call you on the right day, rarely did she miss one and new dates were added each time. Ruby faced the mountains in her life with bravery, and on each scratch paper you’ll find on her table, you will see a few doodles and something she jotted down when it caught her eye. The torn end of a note that was on her table for the last eight weeks says, “Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.” Ruby poured from her cup and I hope you always remember that finding ways to love others can help you remember to love yourself. Ruby is preceded in death by the love of her life, Jerry McCrary, who she saw for the first time outside of the Capitol theatre in the summer of 1951. While Jerry was deployed, Ruby wrote an account of their love story and in her own words she discussed the separation they experienced. The entry on September 23, 1957 reads: “Even though we are thousands of miles apart it’s only distance because we will always be together in thoughts and in our hearts. Along with our precious memories we have to keep us going we have the future to look forward to, and together that’s the most important thing.” And what a future it was. Wherever you are in your life, please find a way to love where you are just as much as where you’re going, because that is exactly what Ma did. A wife, mother, sister, friend, aunt, fierce believer, reader, gardener, and a fighter has been welcomed home.
Visitation will be held in the Vine Baptist Church on Saturday December 11th 10:00 am until the Celebration of Life Service at 12 :00 noon. Bro. Randy Ward to officiate the service.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the church she spent 60 years serving, Vine Baptist, Alive Hospice who so graciously held both she and Pa close, or the American Heart Association.
PARTLOW FUNERAL CHAPEL (615) 444-7007 OBITUARY LINE (615) 444-7700.
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