Ruby Carlson, 90, of Winner, SD passed away on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020 at the Winner Regional Health Care Center in Winner, SD.
Private family funeral services was held on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020 at 2 p.m. at the Winner United Methodist Church in Winner, SD. Burial followed in the Winner City Cemetery.
Ruby Mae Johnson was born in Winner, SD on Sept. 25, 1930 to Paul and Irene Johnson. She passed away on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020 due to complications from COVID 19.
Ruby was the youngest child of Paul and Irene Johnson of Hamill, SD, joining siblings Paul, Jr. (Bud) and Alice. Ruby was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church in Hamill, SD, that her grandfather had built. From stories passed down from family she apparently had an abundance of energy as a child which continued through her life. Starting school at age three, beginning to drive the family’s Model A at age five, riding her bike or horse to Hamill to see special friends or to Snow Dam to catch fish for her beloved Daddy, she was always on the move.
As with all the Johnson kids, she had a nickname, Johnny. It stuck with her through life. She attended high school in Winner, loved being a majorette and twirling lighted batons. She did her part for the war effort babysitting her nephew during the summers so his mother could work for the Ordinance department in Igloo, SD. She worked on the school paper, “The Rodeo”. During that time part of her duties were to mail copies of the paper to alumni who were active duty WWII servicemen. Her classmate slipped her picture and a note into one of the serviceman’s paper saying, “you have to meet this girl”. The serviceman wrote back after seeing the picture and said, “I am going to marry this girl” and on Jan. 1, 1948 Ruby married Harry Jr. (Sug) Carlson. To this union two boys, Russell and Bradley and two girls, Crystal and Robin were born. Jr. and Ruby lived on the family ranch raising Hereford cattle, kids and huge gardens for the next 53 years. Early in their marriage they joined a group who “square danced on horses”. She loved to ride. Ruby joined the Millboro Congregational Church after marriage and was the secretary for many years as well as teaching Sunday and Bible School, maintenance and decorating. The back pew on the right side was “our” pew and the floor reveals the scuff marks to prove it. On the ranch Mom did whatever was needed from maintaining a clean house, cooking lots of meals, filling lunchboxes with homemade goodies, harvesting gardens/wild berries, huge, delicious lunches during breaks in pheasant hunting opening weekend, working in the field with her cowboy hat and red lipstick on, painting and shingling the buildings, helping us find the first spring kittens, keeping calves in the porch or basement and fighting to save them as if she had given birth to them! She could fix anything…even a flat tire with a baton as a jack handle while wearing a white dress and heels. But her favorite thing to fix? Ranch fence. She loved it; it was her thing! She even got a new wire stretcher for a gift and still loved all of us! Dad always said if it wasn’t for Mom the ranch would not have survived. She enjoyed crafting with friends, casino outings, crocheting many blankets, family trips to the Black Hills, Denver Stock Show and later trips just with Dad. She supported all of her kids during sporting events/activities and when grandkids were participating, she did her best to be there also!
Dad and Mom moved to Winner “to retire”. Moving off the ranch was incredibly hard for Mom, but she kept busy as always. She loved to mow the lawn with her riding lawnmower and if the grass was even a “hair” long it got cut….and at terrifying breakneck speeds! Mom finally, begrudgingly, retired the mower at the age of 89.
Mom taught us to love the Lord, persevere through hardships and loss, celebrate the victories, instilled in us a strong work ethic, and to love and care for your family and friends.
She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sibling, aunt and friend to all who knew her. As this generation passes from the Carlson family, we will take our memories of this incredible woman and pass them on to the next generation.
Ruby is survived by her children, Russ (Deb) Lucas, TX; Brad (Vicki) Colome, SD; Crystal (Wally) Walton, Rapid City, SD; Robin (Vern) Millin, Wright, WY; Sister Alice Schuette, Newcastle, WY; Grandchildren/great grandchildren, Jason (Rachel) Carlson, Sydney and Sloane; Jesse Walton; Lindsey (Travis) Wieck, Drake, Bodie and Nile; Chelsea (Jake) Short, Denali; Cassidy (Shelby) Walton, Clay and Laramie; Bridget (Chase) Ryno, Huxley and Paxley; Clint Carlson; Dallas Millin; Nieces, Judy Janak and Jean Kelley; Nephews, Brent Rahn and Doug Addington.
Ruby was preceded in death by her husband, Sug; her parents and parent in-laws, brother Bud and numerous other special family and friends.