Ruby's Story

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CLAREMORE – A celebration of the life of Ruby Leota Smith will be 10:30 a.m., Friday, June 5, in the Chapel of the Garden at Rice Funeral Service. Friends and family may visit the funeral home Friday morning for a time of visitation from 9 a.m. until service time. Ruby passed away on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. She was 98. Born in Talala on March 15, 1917, to Samuel Porter and Bernice Ruth (Shimp) Gill, Leota was reared and educated in Talala where she graduated with the Talala High School class of 1935. Upon graduation, Leota attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah and earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1939 then went on to earn her master’s degree in 1964. Her first teaching position was in her hometown of Talala where she was employed for two years. On June 10, 1942, Leota married Cecil Edward Smith in a Las Vegas ceremony. The young couple made their first home in Huntington Park, Calif., where they became parents and welcomed their first child, Jerry. In 1946 the family moved back to Oklahoma and soon welcomed their second child, Glenda. Once back in Oklahoma Leota began teaching again. She was even Jerry’s first- through fourth-grade teacher at both Diamond Point and Watova Schools. Leota also taught at Dewey and Tahlequah schools, only missing a year of teaching before retiring in 1980. On June 4, 1994, Cecil passed away and Leota remained in the Tahlequah community they so loved. Leota was a strong and selfless person who always thought of others first. She was a wonderful wife and mother. Family was her life. A beloved grandmother, “Grandma Ota” to her grandchildren, she loved to dote on them. She was thankful for her good health and that of her family. She was a Christian and read the Bible all the time. This beautiful, independent and incredibly intelligent woman will be deeply missed by all whose lives she touched. Leota is survived by her children, Jerry Smith and wife Paula, Glenda Hinton and husband Bill; grandchildren, Mike Smith and wife Pam, Stacey Limerick and husband David, Chris Smith and wife Julie, David Douthit and wife Valerie, and Diane Douthit; 11 great-grandchildren Abigail, Kyle and Kristin, Camden, Shiloh, Asher and Judah, Shane and Addie and Parker and Cooper; and sister, Cherry Gail McSpadden and husband Larry. Leota was preceded in death by her parents; husband; and siblings, Floy Corlett, Kenneth, Paul, and Jay Gill and an infant brother; and great-granddaughter Elizabeth. Rice Funeral Home 631 E. Will Rogers Blvd., Claremore; 918-341-0376.
Published on  June 4, 2015
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