Ruby Jewel McKinney
July 24, 1923 ~ October 6, 2013
Ruby Jewel McKinney, 90, an eight year resident of East Wenatchee, passed away at Colonial Vista Care Center on Sunday, October 6, 2013. Ruby was born on July 24, 1923 at Soper, OK to Jefferson Davis and Willie (Turner) Duff. At four-months of age, her family moved to Nashville, TN in a covered wagon. They later returned to OK where Ruby attended school. At nine years of age, she was baptized into the Christian faith. They left Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl, in the midst of the Great Depression and moved to Los Angeles, CA. In 1936, her family moved to Osburn, WA, where her father worked to build Grand Coulee Dam. There she met her future husband, Harry V. McKinney. They were married in
Coeur d’Alene, ID on December 28, 1940. Their made their home wherever Harry worked: the Grand Coulee Dam, the shipyards at Orting, WA during World War II, the nuclear plant at Richland, WA and many other places in WA and CA. Ruby and her husband, Harry, helped build America in a variety of ways, from power dams to shipyards.
Ruby was a remarkable woman. She was a great patriot of the United States of America. She was a truly dedicated mother, taking care of her disabled daughter for her entire life, over 74 years. Ruby was an outspoken champion for the developmentally disabled, even decades ago, when the disabled were often stigmatized. She saved funding for schools for the disabled in CA, speaking on the steps of the State Capital in 1990. She was never afraid to speak her mind, yet had tremendous empathy for those enduring hard times. Ruby was a gifted and artful story- teller and historian. She made family history come alive with colorful portraits painted with words. She and her family moved to make their home in East Wenatchee in 2005.
Her husband of 69 years, Harry V. McKinney; and one brother, Floyd, E. Duff, precede her in death. She leaves behind her son, Leon (Bonita) McKinney of East Wenatchee; one daughter, Darlene McKinney of Wenatchee; four grandchildren, Jeff McKinney of San Francisco, CA, Brent McKinney of Olympia, WA, Christy (Lance Young) McKinney of Seattle, WA, Brian (Shannon) McKinney of Kenmore, WA; and four great-grandchildren, Henry and Ella McKinney of Olympia, WA, and Wyatt and Grace Ruby McKinney of Kenmore, WA.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at Eastmont Baptist Church, 400 S. Kentucky, East Wenatchee, with Pastor Steve Brewer officiating. You are invited to visit her tribute online and leave a message at www.HeritageMemorialChapel.com. Arrangements are in the care of Heritage Memorial Chapel, East Wenatchee. Memorials can be directed to H.O.P.E. scholarships or Special Olympics.