Ruby May (Hillgartner) Walker, 92, of Naples, Florida, formerly of Higginsville and Fulton, Missouri, passed away peacefully on January 24, 2021.
She was born on December 6, 1928 in Fulton to Frank Edward and Myrtle Irene (Blackburn) Hillgartner. Ruby graduated in 1947 from Williams Woods College, now Williams Woods University, in Fulton with an Associate of Arts degree, forming lifelong bonds with 5 fellow grads as her closest friends.
She married her husband, William Charles ‘Bill’ Walker, in 1949 and raised three children, sons Homer and Joe, and special needs daughter Phyllis, whom she devotedly cared for until Phyllis’ death.
Ruby often said she was blessed with two pastors. Her church membership was with Grace United Methodist Church and she worked as the church secretary at Central Christian Church in Higginsville for many years. Ruby had a special interest in horticulture and could propagate a new rose bush from a stem. She kept a beautiful rose garden for many years.
Laurie Adler, Joe’s wife, gave Ruby the welcome and surprising gift of genealogy research revealing her mother’s ancestral connection on the Blackburn side of the family to the nephew of George Washington and Supreme Court Justice, Bushrod Washington. Ruby was given a private tour of Mount Vernon where her ancestors are buried.
She was preceded in death by her parents, an infant brother, her husband William Charles, and daughter Phyllis Elaine.
She is survived by her sons Homer Walker and his wife, Sharon Tilbury, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Joseph Walker and his wife, Laurie Adler, of Naples, Florida; brother Forrest Hillgartner of Houston, Texas; cousin James E. Latimer and his wife, Carolyn, of Louisville, Kentucky; and her little rescue dog Mitzi.
Ruby’s memorial will be scheduled in Higginsville at a later time when services can safely be held.
Donations can be made in her honor to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) by sending a check to: ASPCA Tributes, 520 8th Ave., 7th Floor, New York, NY 10018