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Ruby Jean ELLENS

Ruby Jean ELLENS

Female 1922 - 2013  (91 years)

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  • Name Ruby Jean ELLENS 
    Born 16 Feb 1922  Harrisburg, Minnehaha, South Dakota, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 29 Nov 2013  Brandon, Minnehaha, South Dakota, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Hills of Rest Memorial Park, Sioux Falls, Minnehaha, South Dakota, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • From the Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) 02 Jul 2006, Sun.
      "Author shares memories, proceeds
      Book of Sioux Falls woman's Depression-era childhood helps charities
      By Jill callison
      In the fall, when gardens were offering lush produce in the waning days before a hard frost, Minnie Ellens would make a vegetable relish she called "hodge-podge."
      She would pick firm green tomatoes and ripe cabbages, cucumbers and onions, then chop them finely before preserving them.
      The result was a melange of colors and flavors.
      Now, Ellens' daughter Ruby Ellens Leubecher, 84, has created a hodge-podge of her own, mixing memories and stories from the 1930s into a book of poetry and reminiscences.
      'Hodge-podge means miscellany, a heterogeneous mixture or a jumble,' Leubecher says. 'That's what best explains this book.'
      And the result is benefiting several area charities, since Leubecher is giving away all proceeds from her book.
      A P.E.O. scholarship received a $300 contribution, and donations have been made to Union Gospel Mission, SDPB Television and several church groups.
      Leubecher, who has written poetry since her teenage years, has jotted down memories of her growing-up years for decades, carefully tucking the pages away in a folder.
      But last year, she decided to put her memories of being a child in the 1930s, the bleak Depression years, into a small booklet, to help her 11 grandchilderen understand the experiences she had lived through.
      Most of all, she wanted them to share, even second-hand in the happy childhood she had experienced.
      Because even though Leubecher's parents suffered losses and reversals during the '30s, including the failure of the bank where they had deposited the money from the sale of their farm, they never let their worries and fears affect their children.
      'Those were happy times,' Leubecher says. 'You didn't ask for money; you just knew there wasn't any. But it was never a burden. I never felt deprived. It was a very happy childhood.'
      Leubecher was the third of five children. The family expanded once more when an aunt died in childbirth, and her parents took in one of her young sons, rather than see him go to an orphanage.
      The Ellens family moved to the Hartford area when Leubecher was 8. She graduated from Hartford High School, the first in her family to go beyond eighth grade.
      She attended Eastern State Normal School in Madison for one years. In 'Hodge-Podge,' she recalls that it cost her only $100 for a year of schooling. When it ended, she became a teacher at 18.
      Five years later, she stopped by the school board president's house, where she glimpsed his son, a young man recently home from serving in World War II.
      She formally met Rex Leubecher days later at a dance when he asked a neighbor, 'Can you introduce me to her? That's the girl I'm going to marry.'
      The couple married Sept. 15, 1946, and farmed for many years near what is now 69th Street and Sycamore Avenue. They have lived on Austin Drive for 10 years.
      Their daughters live nearby: Diane Ness in Yankton, Nancy Noess in Mitchell and Kathy Metzger in Sioux Falls.
      Metzger, the middle daughter, is the one who ramrodded the book to reality, Leubecher says. And Kristi Metzger, Leubecher's only granddaughter, contributed drawings to illustrate the poems and memories.
      Metzger's son, a teacher in Ellsworth, Minn., has read his grandmother's poem about baby chicks to his third-graders and has had them watch as chicks are newly hatched in the classroom.
      Another grandson, owner of a Yankton bookstore, would like to sell it there. So far, his grandmother has demurred, reluctant to tackle any marketing of her work.
      Rex Leubecher, just weeks away from his 60th wedding anniversary, beams as he recites his wife's many talents.
      Foremost among these is her writing, he says.
      'She's modest,' Rex Leubecher says. 'She always, over the years, was jotting things down. And every time a grandchild gets married, they want her to write a verse for the wedding. It's become a tradition.'
      He's equally proud of the reaction Ruby's memories have stirred and of her generosity in sharing the book's proceeds.
      Ruby Leubecher will say only that she enjoys the response her book has received.
      And she has felt warmed once again by recalling a happy childhood."

      Obituary, Argus Leader Newspaper, Sioux Falls, South Dakota:

      “Ruby Leubecher, 91, died Friday, November 29, 2013 at Bethany Home, Brandon. A memorial service will be held Friday, December 13, at 3:00 PM at First Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, SD. A family committal will be held prior to the service.

      “Ruby Jean Ellens was born on February 16, 1922, to John and Minnie (Albers) Ellens near Harrisburg, South Dakota. At the age of 9 the family moved to a farm near Wall Lake, and she graduated from Hartford High School in 1939 as valedictorian of her class. Wanting to continue her education at Eastern State Normal (now DSU) in Madison, SD, she worked candling eggs for tuition money and doing housework for her room and board. She earned her teaching certificate which qualified her to teach in rural schools in South Dakota.

      “She taught schools in Hartford, Valley Springs, and Lincoln County. In 1986 Ruby received the Rural School Teacher Award. While teaching at Springdale School District she met the love of her life, Rex Leubecher, and they shared 66 wonderful years of marriage.

      “Ruby was a devoted farm wife and mother to three daughters. She was a charter member of Echo Extension Club and was active in county and state SD Extension Homemakers. She was a member of First Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls and an active member of Springdale Lutheran Church Women. She served as Women's Chairman of Lincoln County Farm Bureau, and was active in Lincoln County Republican politics.

      “An excellent seamstress, Ruby lovingly styled and sewed many prom and bridesmaid dresses and dozens of quilts for the church. She was also accomplished at cake decorating. Countless hours spent in her vegetable and flower gardens gave her much joy. Another form of relaxation was writing poetry and her daughter, Kathy, helped her compile many of her poems into a book.

      “Rex and Ruby moved to Stoneybrook Assisted Living in 2010 and to Bethany Home in 2012. She suffered from Parkinson's Disease for many years, never complaining and always thankful for those who helped care for her.

      “Survivors include her three daughters and their spouses: Diane and Larry Ness of Yankton, Kathy and Ray Metzger of Brandon, and Nancy and Loren Noess of Mitchell. Grandchildren include: Michael, Aaron, and Rob Ness, Kristi, Matt, Rex, and Tyson Metzger, and Steve, Dexter, David, and Paul Noess, 12 great grandchildren, and her sister Fern Skrabuha. She was preceded in death by her husband Rex in March 2013, her parents John and Minnie Ellens, and four brothers, Kermit, Leonard, and Bill Ellens and Ray Albers.

      “Ruby's motto and advice to her family was always “lf you're handed a lemon, make lemonade.” She truly exemplified that during the last years of her life.”
    Person ID I966  Lowell&Block
    Last Modified 1 Nov 2019 

    Father John ELLENS 
    Mother Minnie ALBERS 
    Family ID F3529  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Rex Warren LEUBECHER 
    +1. Diane Jean LEUBECHER
    +2. Kathy Aileen LEUBECHER
    +3. Nancy Ann LEUBECHER
    Last Modified 7 Oct 2019 
    Family ID F495  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 16 Feb 1922 - Harrisburg, Minnehaha, South Dakota, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 29 Nov 2013 - Brandon, Minnehaha, South Dakota, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Hills of Rest Memorial Park, Sioux Falls, Minnehaha, South Dakota, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth