Long time business owner in Stratford, George Gillespie Ruby passed away peacefully on January 2, 2019 at Woodland Tower in his 97th year following a brief illness. Family and loved ones were by his side. His loving wife Dorothy Jean (nee Wisby) predeceased him in 2015. Minnie (nee Coxon), his first wife, predeceased him in 1960 due to complications from surgery.
George was born in Milbank, Ontario in 1922 and came to Stratford with his family in the early 1930’s when his father Norman was supposed to take a job with the CNR Shops. In Milbank, Norman had a business making eavestroughs for the local farming community but when the family of seven, including mother Maude Gillespie arrived in Stratford, the position with the CNR Shops no longer existed due to the depression. Norman did what he knew best to support the family making eavestroughs and eventually expanding into plumbing which had moved indoors by that time forming Ruby Plumbing and Heating, Inc., where George was the Master Plumber. George always looked out for his brothers and sisters. In 1944 George spent a brief stint in the Canadian Army in British Columbia training as a Combat Engineer, but World War II blessedly ended before he had to go overseas. Ruby Plumbing and Heating, Inc. was housed at the corner of North and Water Street in Stratford where many generations of Ruby’s lived at various times. He loved weekends spent tinkering at the family cottage on Lake Huron just north of Goderich, Ontario and with dear friend’s the Mundy’s and the Ferguson’s.
George is survived by son Douglas and his wife, Catherine, of Weehawken, New Jersey. Grandchildren include Sarah (Andrea) of Philadelphia P.A., and Hilary (Sean) also of Weehawken, New Jersey. He is predeceased by a son, David George, who died in infancy. George outlived all of his siblings including brother Lloyd who was a co-owner of Ruby Plumbing and sisters Leone McLeod, Ethel Otton, and Florence Ramore, all of Stratford.
Survivors also include sister-in-law Marjorie Wisby of Tavistock and brother-in-law Archie Ranney of Stratford and numerous nieces and nephews including Jan Dean and her husband Ken who provided companionship and care for George in his final years.
The family requests that donations be made to Spruce Lodge Foundation at www.sprucelodge.on.ca or through the Rutherford Cremation & Funeral Services website at www.jarfh.com, in support of projects to benefit the entire community at Woodland Tower. The family gives special thanks to Woodland Tower staff where George shared in a community he loved and who loved him for over 17 years and where he is sorely missed. He was known to everyone there as Uncle George and his sunny personality and gentlemanly ways always cheered.
A private graveside service and interment has been held in Avondale Cemetery. Funeral arrangements were made through Rutherford Cremation & Funeral Services. 519-271-5062.