Farewell Auntie Ruby (Ruby Selby, 1920-2013)

My Great Aunt, Ruby Selby, passed away today, aged 92. She died in hospital after a short illness.

Ruby & Wilf's Wedding

Ruby & Wilf’s Wedding

Ruby was my Gran‘s sister, born Ruby Pearce in Sheffield. Ruby married Wilfred Selby and they had a daughter, Christine, who sadly passed away. Wilf and Ruby were heartbroken and I don’t think Wilf ever really recovered. He passed away and Ruby has been on her own for a number of years, but has been helped by her many friends.

StanPanDadRubyWilfPartyA visit to Auntie Ruby’s always seemed like a visit to royalty to me. Their house seemed stately to a young lad, and even now, the wood panelling in the hallway and stairs reminds me why I thought that.

I remember Christmas and New Years parties, adults talking and drinking whilst my brother and I played under the table. I also remember the walnut dash and leather seats in Wilf’s Rover.

Christine was a solicitor and I always remember her graduating class photo in a frame at the foot of the stairs above the telephone shelf.

 Ruby,Jack,Me,IrisI didn’t see Ruby for the years I was in Canada, though we kept in touch, but a visit to Sheffield in 1998 saw a nice reunion of Aunts & Uncle in a Stannington pub. Here’s Ruby, Jack Pearce and Iris Booth.

Since I returned to the UK, I’ve tried to call in whilst visiting Sheffield and I introduced my children to their Great Great Aunt Ruby. They thought she was really old.

Ruby hasn’t been in good health lately and has been in hospital a few times but she stayed in her home as long as she could.

Ruby was strong-willed and, I’m sure, many would think her a cantankerous old lady, but she was always very kind to me and I think of her fondly.

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Bex and I visiting Ruby in hospital, June 2012

Bex and I saw Ruby the Sunday before Christmas and we had a lovely visit to her house. Some of her friends visited whilst were there, we had cups of tea and a nice chat.

When I spoke to her a few days later, she was feeling poorly with bronchitis and had been prescribed antibiotics. She went into hospital with pneumonia on Sunday and, despite treatment, was very frail and having difficulties. When we visited her in hospital on New Years Day she was struggling but knew we were there and gripped my hand. I knew then she hadn’t long left and said my goodbyes.

Ruby & Iris in Sheffield

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So now my Gran’s generation of the Pearce family are all gone.

Farewell Auntie Ruby, you’ll be missed xxx

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