Ruby Mae (Galbreath) Willhite, 93, of Heavener was born March 25, 1927 in Jones County, Texas to John Mack and Maud Mae (Turner) Galbreath and passed away Dec. 21, 2020 in Heavener.
Funeral service is 10 a.m. Thursday at Dowden-Roberts Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Sam Dyer and Bro. Brock Hardin officiating. Burial will follow in Heavener Memorial Park, under the direction of Dowden-Roberts Funeral Home of Heavener.
Ruby was a long-time resident of the area, a member of the Heavener First Baptist Church for 55 years, the FBC Triple L Group, the American Legion Post #188, and a dedicated bowler in the Senior Bowling League at Lucky Lanes Bowling Alley for many years.
Her large family moved to Muse at or around the age of 8-years-old. She grew up there, and graduated from Muse High School. After Ruby graduated, she attended business school. She later met the love of her life, Edward Willhite. They married and had two daughters, Edwina Johnston and Wanda Forsberg, ending up making their permanent home in Heavener, in 1964. Edward passed away in 1965, leaving Ruby a young widow with two young daughters to raise alone. Ruby had always been a homemaker, but then began a work career for Coy and Edith Robertson at “Otasco”/Oklahoma Tire and Supply. Later she worked for Bill Hembree Chevrolet in the parts department. In her later years, she also worked at the “Big Blue Building,” The Appliance Center for Robert and Carlene Holt. Her work ethic and kindness was noticed by all who knew her and worked with her. During her full-time work years, she also worked for Glen and Hal Dowden, as well as Max and Dylan Roberts at Dowden Funeral Home, later renamed to Dowden-Roberts Funeral Home for 30 years. She was a caregiver and comforter in so many ways. As her grandchildren arrived, she was known as “grandma.” She loved having them with her. She also had nieces and nephews that loved to visit her, always knowing her as “Aunt Ruby.” She was soft and kind, but expected discipline and respect. She became “Nanny” when Kyle Huddleston came in to her care. From that time on, as great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren arrived, she was known as “Nanny.” Their kind and loving, “Nan.” She had her stubborn side and was very set in her ways, but was very loved and respected by her family and friends. Christmas was her favorite time of year, so it was very fitting that she passed away during the Christmas holiday.
She is survived by two daughters Edwina Johnston and husband Johnny of the Haw Creek community, and Wanda Forsberg and husband Scott of Poteau; two sisters Pat Permenter and husband R.L. of Porum, and Gene Wright of Wagoner; four grandchildren Staci Olive and husband Craig of the Conser community, Jerri Harris and husband Danny Bob of the Hontubby community, Cole Forsberg and wife Megan of Tulsa, and Mollie Cooper and husband Dusty of Ozark, Arkansas; six great grandchildren Paige Coffey and husband Jordan of Red Oak, Tyler Manley and wife Makayla of the Hontubby community, Parker Olive and wife Briannah of Heavener, Eliot Grace Forsberg of Tulsa, Troy Cooper, Wyatt Cooper, and Robbie Cooper, all three of Ozark, Arkansas; two great great grandchildren Pailsey Coffey and Casston Coffey; special people in Ruby’s life David and Kaylynn Huddleston and Jennifer Yandell and family; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives, and a host of friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Edward Willhite; seven sisters Juanita Brannon, Mildred Looper, Elsie Lee Loftis, Katy Moore, Doris Holt, Bobby Lee Badgwell and Ann Hicks; and four brothers Jasper Earl Galbreath, James William Galbreath, Walter Eugene Galbreath and J.T. Galbreath.
Pallbearers are Tyler Manley, Parker Olive, Jordan Coffey, Casston Coffey, Austin Powell, Cole Forsberg and Kyle Huddleston.
Honorary pallbearers are Max Roberts, Dylan Roberts, Toby Vocque and David Huddleston.
Viewing is 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, with the family visiting with friends from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
To sign Mrs. Willhite’s online guestbook please visit www.dowdenrobertsfuneralhome.com.