It is with great sadness that the daughter of Ruby Byrd Greene announces her passing unexpectedly from this life at Reid Memorial hospital in Richmond, Indiana, at the age of 94.
She graduated from Central High in Wartburg in 1946 and resided in Lancing during part of her young life and then later in Wartburg. She also (along with her sister) spent ages 4-9 at the Masonic Children’s Home in Nashville during the depression, after the death of her father.
In addition to raising 3 daughters, she received her L.P.N. training in Knoxville and was employed at Oak Ridge Hospital before attending Union University in Jackson, Tennessee for her R.N. training in her forties after which she taught L.P.N. students at Whiteville Vocational School. She was a dedicated and compassionate nurse and loved her patients at her various employments including Western State Mental Institute in Bolivar.
She and her husband, Alton, became weekend house parents later in life for the Baptist Adult Home in Lebanon, Tennessee where her home prepared meals were very much loved and anticipated. The residents there were very dear to her, and she was dear to them.
She was a talented seamstress, making clothes for her girls and sewing for her friends later in life. She was also known by her family for her delicious pies and her generosity toward them.
Ruby was fond of her Christian literature and especially fond of the writings of Billy and Franklin Graham. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Wartburg and treasured her friendships there, especially her Sunday School teacher, Diana Cagley.
She was an energetic and amazing woman later in life and continued to live alone and strive to be independent even after the death of her daughter, Paula, in Indiana in June 2020. She even “insulated” her complete garage with cardboard from various sources after she turned 94, a feat amazing even for a younger person, striving to improve her surroundings. She resided in Richmond, Indiana, but always loved and longed for her beloved Tennessee hills.
She was proceeded in death by her parents, Hale C. Byrd and Dallie Daugherty Byrd, her daughters, Paula and Mary Jean, her husband Alton Greene and her grandson Jeremy. She was the last survivor of Hale Byrd’s second family of six children, proceeded in death by her siblings Ben, Lorena, Elizabeth, Juanita, and Jim Byrd. Her lifelong friend Alice Melton proceeded her in death in 2017. She is survived by a sister-in-law, Kathy Byrd and stepson, David Greene of Memphis.
She is also survived by her daughter Nancy Brooks Upchurch (Martin), three grandchildren, Chad Semler (Melissa), Justin Rich (Rachelle), and Rachel Leonard; also, nine great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter. In addition, she has many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews, with Brad Byrd being a special nephew.
A special grand daughter-in-law, Melissa Semler, is to be commended for her many hours of loving watch care over her.
There will be a memorial service at a later date at First Baptist Wartburg.
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