Ruby J. Smith, age 87, died June 10, 2014. She was born to Flossie
(Keller) Waddell and Floyd Waddell, July 7, 1926, in the Town of
Webster, in Vernon County. She spent her earliest years with her
parents on the Ella and Joe Appleman farm where her mother was raised.
When Ruby was 9 or 10 years old, her family moved to Grandma Clarinda
and Grandpa John Waddell's farm on Husker Hollow Road on Buchanan Ridge.
She thought they'd have oranges every day when they moved to the big
Husker Hollow farm. She graduated from LaFarge High School where she
met Holly Smith, one year her senior and a fine basketball player.
During WWII, she made black powder at Badger Ordinance near Baraboo.
Ruby and Holly married when Holly came back from U.S. Navy service right
after WWII. They said their vows in the Viroqua Parsonage with Pastor
Roy Williams on May 29, 1946. They celebrated 68 happy years as they
raised their five children, struggled through the hard times, celebrated
the good times, and together wove a caring network of family and
She worked many years at Heavy Duty Electric and later Skrudland Photo
Labs in Lake Geneva. Ruby and Holly moved to Phillips in 1977, where
they lived for 37 years when Holly's job took him to work at Flambeau
Correctional Center. Ruby then worked as a Nurses Aide in Woodruff, and
finally at Graff's Clothing in Phillips. She and Holly worked many
happy "retirement" year summers at Conference Point Camp in William's
Bay to be near their children and grandchildren for the summer months.
Finally, in their 70's they settled down to "working" the casinos of
Ruby and Holly liked to travel. Their road-trip lunches were often a
carton of cottage cheese, a can of pork and beans and a bologna sandwich
made at a wayside along the highway and, sometimes, the best part of the
trip. They traveled the U.S., got caught in snow storms in the Grand
Tetons, saw the stars at The Grand Ole Opry, played the slots in Vegas,
and even spent a week in Torrejon, Spain.
Ruby always had a welcoming home and a talent for decorating it. She
was an excellent cook, entertained often, and made the best blueberry
pie. She loved visiting with family and friends, whistling along to
tunes on the radio, babysitting her many grandchildren, and never forgot
Ruby is survived by her husband, Holly, sons Jerald (Kathy) of Williams
Bay, Allen (Pam) of Phillips, Norman of Elkhorn, and Jeff (Jane) of
Williams Bay, daughter Marilyn Slocum of Delavan, sister Barbara
Stenslien of Janesville, brother John (Leona) Waddell of LaFarge, many
grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren,
brothers- and sisters-in-law, and countless other relatives and friends.
She is preceded in death by two sisters, June (Bob) Thayer, Phyllis
(Pete) Beaver, and brother Floyd Waddell.
Ruby has requested no wake or funeral, only a small family graveside
gathering at a later date.
The Heindl Funeral Home in Phillips is assisting the family with