Ruby Maye Kaufman

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Service Schedule
Celebration of Life
10 Cobble Hill Road
Little Rock, AR  72211
Saturday, July 20, 2024
4:00 P.M.
Memorial Contributions
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Ruby Maye Kaufman

of Little Rock, AR

July 9, 2024

Ruby Maye Kaufman,106, passed away at her home on July 9th, 2024, in Little Rock, Arkansas after a sudden decline in her health. Prior to that, Ruby enjoyed an extremely healthy life. She had recently joyfully celebrated her 106th birthday with family at her newly rebuilt home. Her home had been completely destroyed by the 2023 Little Rock tornado. She survived that tornado and so much more in her life. She too was a force of nature.

Ruby was born in 1918 on a farm in Hot Springs, Arkansas to James and Mittie Clark Harmon. Ruby lived at a time when children of farmers were taken out of school to help pick cotton and other crops. Her formal education only went through the 4th grade but that did not stop Ruby. She continued to work on her math, reading, and writing skills for the rest of her life. Her determination to take the world head on without an education and to teach herself goes to the core of what she stood for. She fiercely believed in education and became an avid reader.

Ruby never understood excuses or lazy people. She exercised daily, loved road trips and drove until 95. She believed in hard work and earning your own money at a time when many women did not. She often worked at boutique retail stores in Hot Springs even into her 70s. Ruby had common sense in abundance, great instincts and style, and always stood up for herself. She was a tough negotiator and sent many car salesmen running for their manager. She was an outstanding bridge player and played until her sight failed her at 100.

Ruby grew up in Hot Springs during its infamous days of casinos and gangsters. She did not enjoy gambling but she did love to dance. She rode motorcycles, enjoyed her independence, and was truly always ahead of her time. At 25, she met the love of her life and married Robert (Bob) Kaufman before he left to fight in World War II as a glider pilot. They were happily married until his death at 62. She never married again and said she would never find anyone like him again. She was a long time member of Second Baptist Church in Hot Springs and knew Bob was patiently waiting for her.

In addition to her parents and husband, Ruby was also preceded in death by two much loved sisters: Opal Moore and Reba Hardin; one brother James Harmon; and many family members and friends. Ruby is survived by her three daughters; Demi Penor of Little Rock, Delores Clardy and husband Dennis of Mountain View, Karen Wood and husband Harland Hittle of Fayetteville; 5 grandchildren Joe Bob Penor and wife Melissa of Virginia, Missy Penor of Little Rock, Ricky Kaufman Penor of Little Rock, Robert Wood of Fayetteville, and John David Gillham of Mountain View; 5 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren. Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Barry Ford, the nurses and staff of Hospice Home Care, and all of her grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 10 Cobble Hill Road in Little Rock at 4:00 PM on Saturday, July 20th. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in honor of Ruby Kaufman to Dolly Parton's Imagination Library in Hot Springs at garlandcountyimaginationlibrary.org to help every child feel the magic of books.

Rock On Ruby.

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1 Condolence(s)
Ann T. Rosso
Fayetteville, AR
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Monday, July 15, 2024

Karen and all...thinking of you during this time of loss. Ruby's remarkable life and legacy of strength and determination will forever inspire all who knew her.