Ruby E. Turman
- June 11, 2021
Ruby Endia Mae Thomas was born on September 5, 1925, in Lorain, Ohio to James and Ida Thomas, the youngest child and second daughter in the family. Ruby was a proud graduate of the Lorain Public School System and with a little encouragement remained glad to sing her Lorain High Alma Mater. Ruby accepted Christ and joined the church as a youth, and as a young lady she and her sister, Lillian were attending church, when a traveling group, the Gospel Ambassadors sang. Instead of her becoming a fan of one of the group’s singers, one of the group’s singers became her fan! What began as a request to walk her home, became a courtship, an engagement and after the interruption of military service during World War II, Roosevelt Turman and Ruby Thomas were married on October 12, 1946. Their love and marriage would last sixty-six years!
Although Ruby would be employed by the Summit County Child Welfare Department and the M. O’ Neil’s Department Store, her love and calling was as a wife, mother, and homemaker, creating a warm and loving environment wherever the family lived. From Gertrude Avenue to Wellington Street, to Lovers Lane (yes, there is such a street!) to Bellevue Drive; from Akron to Miami to San Diego, back to Akron, and then on to Mesa, Arizona, Ruby had a gift for transforming any location into a place of love and comfort and turning strangers into friends. She loved reading Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novels, and Helen Steiner Rice’s and Edgar A. Guest’s poetry. Guest wrote, “It takes a heap of livin’ to make a house a home…” and Ruby Turman brought a heap to every place she lived.
The marriage of Ruby and Roosevelt was blessed with five children, Douglas Duane, Rosalyn Dorine, Lillian JoAnn, Kevin Maurice, and Derek Wayne, and they were raised in a home that respected God, family, others, and self. Sunday was the Lord’s Day and Assistant Sunday School Superintendent Roosevelt, and Nursery School worker Ruby were dutiful in their labor, “as unto the Lord.” Attendance for the rest of the family was mandatory, not optional. Through the years and cross-country moves, Roosevelt and Ruby were always hardworking, faithful members of a local church, being recognized as Deacon and Deaconess in multiple congregations.
A woman who took great pride in her ongoing beautification projects around the house, Ruby enlisted her children in joining her in weeding, trimming, mowing, raking, cleaning, dusting, mopping, and all the other chores necessary to make things look “just right.” She was a strong disciplinarian usually applying a “thump” to the side of the head to indicate that some behavior boundary had been crossed. Her abiding principle was God’s love and human kindness, and she allowed that principle to guide her actions.
Ruby was a fashionista before the term was created. A very attractive woman in appearance and attitude, she took pride in making sure she always looked the way she wanted to, whether staying in or going out. The clicking of heels and the aroma of Faberge meant Mrs. Turman was on her way out, usually to go shopping. As a wonderful cook who perfected the art of taking a little and making a lot, our family of seven was always well fed and neighborhood friends who happened to be present when dinner time came around were always welcome and in for a treat.
As a spiritual woman and graceful leader, Ruby allowed her faith to guide her. Whether deciding how to approach difficult conversations, being sustained through the tragic death of her youngest child Derek or receiving a diagnosis of cancer nearly ten years ago, faith in the goodness of God and cultivated prayer life were the pillars of strength upon which she leaned. When Roosevelt passed in May of 2013 that strength was tested yet remained strong.
On May 30th after a slow decline and a brief illness, Ruby passed from this life to the next. She leaves to celebrate her life and mourn her death, her children, Douglas Turman (Christina), Rosalyn Williams, Lillian Turman Cherry (James), and Kevin Turman (Denise); ten grandchildren, Eshelle Young (Lamar), Leon Williams, Jennifer Dorsey (Joseph), Tracy Muldoon (Brian), Renea Vigil (Kevin), Jonell Schmeltz (Chad), Tiffanie Sojourner (Lane Niehuser), Raquel Sojourner, Theodore Turman (Akilah) and Benjamin Turman; and a host of great-grandchildren, extended family, and friends.