Ruby Margaret Ormiston (nee Skelton)

May 27, 1925 – December 11, 2020
It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the passing of Ruby Margaret Ormiston, on December 11, 2020 at Normanna in Burnaby, British Columbia surrounded in the love of her family and friends and the Normanna care team.
Ruby was preceded in death by her parents Bella and Floyd, husband James (Jim) Douglas Ormiston, her first husband of 27 years, Albert (Ab) Wilson Adams, brothers Orvis “Spud”, Alec, Terry, sister Irene, niece baby Wendy, nephew Walter “Wally”, and most recently her beloved son Jeffrey Kergin Adams.
Ruby is survived by her daughter Julie (Bernard), brother Fred, cherished daughter-in-law Faye, adored grandchildren, Jenna, Laura (Andrew), Xavier, Sophie, James (Brielle), beautiful great-grandchildren Cassidy, Cole and Archer, sister-in-law Thelma and many nieces and nephews, great nieces and great nephews and many dear friends.
Ruby loved life and people, and lived kindness and gratitude everyday of her life. She rose above the challenges that came her way, by approaching them with a positive attitude having perfected the art of the “Pollyanna” game (you must watch the Disney movie or read the book if you don’t understand the reference!) including an incredible comeback from a devastating viral brain infection. While this ravaged some of her early memories it did not diminish her love for her family and friends nor stop her from learning new things and embracing new life adventures and above all having fun.
Most importantly, Ruby faced this immense difficulty with an increased gratitude for life and living, and never let an opportunity pass her by to thank those who helped her in her day and offer them her beautiful smile. Ruby was always trying to help others even in her last weeks of life.
While too numerous to list all of Ruby’s passions, a few stand out. Ruby was an active member of the First United Church in Prince Rupert and a soprano in the church choir for most of her Prince Rupert years. She was still singing and dancing at 95.
An avid doll collector…Ruby’s “babies” travelled with her as she moved from Prince Rupert to Naramata and then finally to Vancouver. She was a skilled seamstress, creating “Chanel” suits in the 60’s for Julie and Jeff’s stylish Conrad Street Elementary School teachers and she designed and sewed many costumes for Prince Rupert’s “little theatre” community musicals, school plays and too-too many tutus for Julie’s ballet recitals.
Ruby was most at home in the water! She was employed at the Prince Rupert Swimming Pool for many years where she was extremely proud to have taught many people in Prince Rupert to swim. She was especially committed to teaching those who were “too nervous” and she created a program of study for people who were afraid to swim.
She saw swimming as a life skill and an imperative for all of us living and working along the waters of the Pacific northwest coast. She also taught swimming classes for seniors and classes for children with specialized developmental needs. Her love of water became a passion for her son Jeff and now her grandson James in their love of deep-sea diving, and she was extremely proud of their accomplishments.
Ruby also loved to figure skate, and met her lifelong friend Aileen on a beautiful cold and snowy night on Oliver Lake. Ruby also taught figure skating and was part of the community drive to build Prince Rupert’s first arena. Ruby was an excellent writer, although her beautiful words were not known to many. She probably had a book or two within her just waiting to be published! Her writing was full of wisdom and delight.
Ruby was a giving person and most notably the family house growing up always had an ‘open door’. She offered friendship and support to family, friends and friends of friends who would drop in for coffee at our kitchen counter, or have a “quick” chat in the middle of Safeway or on the phone. Ruby had the “gift” of “second sight” as we say in our Celtic roots and she shared her gifts through the reading of tea leaves, plenty of talk and hugs.
Ruby spent 20 very happy years in Naramata with her devoted husband Jim. They had many adventures together, including travelling in their motor home (with Kitty Kat) across Canada, travelling coast to coast-to-coast meeting Jim’s family and meeting many new friends and learning about our beautiful country. She loved their little home nestled in an orchard, near the lake, enjoying the beauty of the seasons and taking long walks along “old Naramata road”.
Ruby’s passing will be of note to anyone who knew her love, generosity, spirit and smile. A celebration of Ruby will be held in 2021 when we can safely gather in person, for a “wee cuppa” tea and reflection of a life well lived. Should you wish to offer a remembrance for Ruby, suggestions include the Normanna Foundation for their ongoing and exemplary work to improve the everyday lives for the residents at the Normanna Care Home, your local food bank or support someone directly who is in need and bound by their circumstances…… that would be the spirit of Ruby. She will be greatly missed.
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