On Tuesday, January 8, (2019), Ruby Maybell Gray Thomason joined her husband Harley Thomason in heaven. Ruby, 94, of Bellefonte, passed peacefully in her home. She was "Granny" to all who knew her. She was a defender to those who were less fortunate and an advocate for blue collar workers. She was born May 19, 1924, in Ashley County, Arkansas, the daughter of John Franklin Gray and Frances Rebecca Morgan Gray.
After marrying Harley and upon his return from World War II, Ruby moved to Boone County and resided at their residence on Huzzah Creek. She held various jobs and began her career making ammunition for World War II. She was involved in the hospitality industry serving as a cook for Valley Springs Schools and A.Q. Chicken located at Dogpatch, U.S.A. She worked for Harrison Furniture as well as Oberman's Manufacturing. At Oberman's, Ruby was a champion of the workers serving as president of the garment union.
Ruby was a member of the First Baptist Church of Bellefonte for more than 70 years. She accepted Christ at Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Crossett at an early age. She served as a Sunday school teacher and on mission teams that taught classes across rural Arkansas. Upon her retirement, Ruby's competitive spirit bloomed. She had a desire to excel in competition. She participated in Senior Olympics and won more than 100 medals despite losing 100 percent of her eyesight in one eye and 90 percent in her other eye. She enjoyed bowling and gardening. She was a mall walker and part of the McDonald's Coffee Club.
Ruby was preceded in death by her husband; one son-in-law, Bob Williams; five sisters, Nell Slaughter, Betty Jean Slaughter, Joyce Smith, Dianne McCrory, and Rita Gray; and two brothers, Ralph (Junior) Gray and Doyle Gray.
Ruby is survived by one son, Jerry Thomason and wife Janet, of Valley Springs; five daughters, Freda Williams of Bellefonte, Virginia Hirayama and husband Gene of Fair Grove, Missouri, Kathy Martin and husband Johnny of Deer, Judy Sullins and husband Rodney of Valley Springs and Rebecca Brasel and husband Jeff of Valley Springs; 14 grandchildren; 40 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; two sisters, Sarah Rushing of Bryant and Jodi Kelley and husband Joe of Mountain Pine; and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation was Friday, January 11, 2019, at Roller-Christenson Funeral Home.
Service was Saturday, January 12, 2019, at First Baptist Church, Bellefonte, with Pastor Marvin Emmons officiating. Burial was at Maplewood Cemetery.
Grandchildren served as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers included members of First Baptist Church of Bellefonte.
Memorials can be made to First Baptist Church, Bellefonte, 10 Garrett Street, Harrison, AR 72601 or the Arkansas Alzheimer's Association, 10201 W. Markham Street, Suite 100, Little Rock, AR 72205