On Friday, June 19, 2020 “Juneteenth”, Ruby Mae Owens gained her angel wings and peacefully went to her heavenly home. Ruby was born on July 28, 1918 to the late Wiley and Anna Franklin who were affectionately known as “Papa” and “Big Mama”. Ruby grew up in the Seatack area of Virginia Beach. She married the late Roland Landers Owens, and in 1962 they moved from Virginia Beach to Norfolk, VA where Roland worked as a longshoreman. Ruby and Roland were happily married for 44 years and had four daughters.
Ruby loved the Lord and was a member of New Hope Baptist Church located in Virginia Beach, under the leadership of Dr. E. Ray Cox. She would be singing and praising around the house all the time. I stated to her, “Mama, you can do a lot of things, but singing is not one of them. We both would then crack up laughing.”
Ruby devoted her entire life to caring for her family. Her smile was infectious and would light up a room. Her heart was big enough for everyone. Family and friends referred to her as “Mama”, “Grandma” and “Ms. Ruby”. Everyone who entered her home was welcomed and offered a home cooked meal. Ruby was an awesome cook. Some of her to die for meals were her chicken and dumplings, homemade sweet potato pies, collard greens, macaroni and cheese and her famous fried chicken. Ruby was also one to offer advise whether you liked it or not. Sometimes her advise came with little or no filters at all! For years she enjoyed watching her favorite soap operas, so everyone knew not to call or interrupt her between the hours of 12-3pm weekdays. Ruby was also a true fashionista with a wardrobe full of stylish clothing, many never worn with the tags still on them. She loved the camera and could strike a pose instantly.
Ruby lived a long, happy life. She witnessed many weddings, births, graduations, and other family celebrations in her 101 years. She was happy and proud to be able to physically go to the courthouse to cast her vote in the 2008 Presidential election and be able to see the monumental moment when this country elected its first Black President- President Barack Hussein Obama.
Ruby was preceded in death by her husband, Roland Landers Owens; three sisters, Cleo Mosley, Virginia Johns, Katherine Goffigan; two brothers, James Franklyn, Robert Franklin; grandson, Michael Manley and great granddaughter, Gabriella Shea Marie Owens.
Ruby is survived by her four daughters, Barbara Cromartie (Jerry), Paulette Roots (Donald), Cynthia Morring (Ronald), Valerie Owens; nine grandchildren, Jeffery Manley (Kim), Brian Manley, Bruce Manley (Cindy), Barry Manley, Karen Manley, Nicole Odom (Terry), Tara Morring, Erica Occeas, Devon Owens (Nakeida); fourteen great grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
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