Special to the Richmond Post
Ruby Lee Howard, the tenth of 13 children in her family, and everyone admits she was the one with the firecracker personality.
She died Feb. 24 in Hercules at the age of 64.
“She was a giving person with a heart of gold that was filled with love, joy and happiness,” said her daughter Tamela Renee Miller. “She loved hard and played hard too. Living life to the fullest every day, she used to say ‘never let ‘em see you sweat’.”
Born on Aug. 17, 1951 to Mattie and Preston Howard in Martinez, California, she grew up in North Richmond where she and childhood friends spent their days making mud pies and picking blackberries.
Ruby was the firecracker of Mattie’s “Ocean Thirteen,” and you could always depend on her to be there to advise you, nurture, care and most importantly to genuinely love on you, family members agreed.
She attended Richmond schools and graduated from Richmond Union High School in 1969. As a teenager, she attended the Wendy Ward’s charm school operated by Montgomery Ward’s, where she first learned how to sew and later won many top awards for her fashion.
Ruby met the love of her life Warren Miller Jr., and soon the couple had Tamela “Tammy” Renee.
Ruby was an excellent cook and loved to share her special recipes and cooking tips. She loved to shop and spend time her family and close friends. She also loved to dance and was always showing young people how to dance right.
She worked at the North Richmond Neighborhood House and then at Firemen’s Fund Insurance Company. Later in life, she decided that she wanted to dedicate her life to support elderly people as a home health aide and caretaker where she could spread her love, comfort, humor and stories.
Ms. Ruby was an active member at Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in Richmond. She went by many names including Granny Ruby, TT Ruby, Ruby Lee, Ruby Dee, Ruby Doobie.
But her most cherished name was “Gigi-Ma,” given to her on Nov. 28, 2015 with birth of her first great-grandson, “King CJ”.
Ruby Lee Howard was proceeded in death by her parents, Mattie and Preston Howard, brothers, Charles Sidney, Joseph and Donald White, and sisters, Rose Marie Sidney, Paulette Welch and Gloria Howard.
She leaves to mourn her daughter Tamela Miller, grand-daughters Ashley, Amber, Antoinea Miller-Smith, great-grandson, Carlos Pennington Jr., her “bonus son” Christopher Plummer and “bonus grand-daughter” Quincya Landingham.
She also leaves the fruits of love to her brothers Allen Sidney, Ralph Howard and brother in love Johnny Gardner; her sisters Pauline Gardner, Diane Sidney, Judy Washington, Wanetta Lynn Howard and sisters in love Phyllis White and Lattie Sidney, along with many nieces and nephews, cousins, and extended family and friends.
Services were held March 10 at Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church.