Ruby Mae Dodgen Clark went home to be with her Lord May 6, 2020. She celebrated her 100th birthday in August 2019 at Western Hills Nursing Home in Comanche, Texas, with nearly all her family attending.
Ruby was born August 16, 1919 to J.W. Dodgen and Birdie Mae Hipsher Dodgen, the youngest of four children. She was born, raised, and lived most of her life in Coleman County, Texas. She attended school at Loss Creek. She married Alvie “Nig” Clark on July 13, 1940. She lived a short period of time in California when her husband was in the Navy and stationed there. They had three daughters, Barbara, Joyce, and Linda. After her husband got out of the service, they lived on an oil lease for many years located on the Miller Ranch about 18 miles north of Coleman where her husband worked as an oilfield pumper. When the girls were in high school, Ruby worked several years at Jinright Sewing Factory in Coleman.
After the girls were married and moved away from home, they had purchased some property east of Coleman in the area where Cross Roads school had been located. Together, they built a home there. Being part of the Echo community, they helped start the Echo community musical. It offered clean and free entertainment once a month and many came to enjoy it. The musicians volunteered their services. Their only pay was free food. The only charge to attendees was for the food made and served by the Echo community ladies. The community used the funds the food brought for many contributions to Coleman and the community.
Her husband died in 1980 at the age of 61. Ruby stayed in the home they had built together for a few years and then moved to Coleman where she lived until she was 97 years old.
When the girls were growing up, the family attended a country church called Shiloh Baptist Church, which was located south of Coleman in the Loss Creek community area. Ruby’s dad, J.W. Dodgen was a deacon and the song leader at Shiloh. Ruby was the pianist there. When Shiloh closed its doors, Ruby and Nig joined Concho Baptist Church. Later they both became members of the Community Baptist Church of Coleman.
Ruby always said her dad wanted her to play the piano so bad that when she was young, he told her he would give her a dollar for every church hymn she learned to play. It paid off because she eventually played the piano in three churches where she was a member. She never felt confident that she played good enough, but she would always say, “I wonder what dad would say about me,” not only playing while he led the singing at Shiloh, but also playing at bigger churches like Concho and Community Baptist. She thought he would have been proud. She also liked to sing. Many times, she liked to tell about when she was young, and her dad would get her to plow. She sat on a bucket on the plow pulled by a mule. She said when she forgot and started singing, the mule would stop abruptly, and she would tumble off her bucket onto the ground.
Her dad ran a combine business and hired several workers. She and her mom had a cook shack that they moved to each job location. They would prepare food and serve the workers their meals. A board was lowered for their plates to rest on, and they would stand there and eat their meals.
Ruby was a loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother. One of her greatest joys in life besides her family was her church, Community Baptist Church. She loved her church family and spent many years attending all the services and working in the church daily. She worked in the day care and the Christian Book Store for many years. She helped with vacation bible school, was a Sunday School teacher, a pianist and was involved in all the activities of the church. She was a very caring and loving Christian and was loved dearly by her family, her church family, and all that knew her. She is rejoicing in Heaven today with all her many, many loved ones, friends and family that have gone on before her. As many that knew her will remember, one of her favorite phrases was “I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck”. She will be greatly missed by all that knew her and loved her.
Ruby is preceded in death by her husband, Alvie “Nig” Clark; her parents, J.W. and Birdie Dodgen; her siblings, Jessie Lee Dodgen, Fred Dodgen, and Mable Sparkman; and her daughter, Barbara Helberg; and son-in-law, David Hagler.
She is survived by her daughters, Joyce Hagler-Trainer and husband J.C. of Seguin, Linda Dority and husband Ron of Lake Brownwood; her grandchildren, Vicki Laurence and husband Paul, Robin Howell and husband Jimmy, Marc Hagler, Tanya Speir and husband Alan, Paul Dority and wife Brandi, Gina McDonald and husband Patrick; her great-great grandchildren, Jennifer Howell, Candace DuVall and husband Seth, Stephanie Laurence, Alayna Speir, Mason Speir, Skylar Dority, Colton Dority, Kyle Dority, Rachel McDonald, Taylor McDonald, H.D. Laurence, Chase Laurence and wife Nicole; her great-great-grandchildren, Tait DuVall, Talon DuVall, Teah DuVall, Patton Laurence, Bella Laurence, and Grace Laurence.
The family will host a visitation from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 9, 2020 at Stevens Funeral Home Chapel, 400 W. Pecan Street, in Coleman. A funeral service will follow at 1 :00 p.m. Saturday at Stevens Funeral Home Chapel with Brother Don Harmes, pastor at Community Baptist Church, officiating. Burial will follow at the Coleman City Cemetery. Services are entrusted to Stevens Funeral Home in Coleman.
Remembrances and condolences can be expressed to the family at www.livingmemorials.com.
Visitation and services will be conducted with COVID19 suggestions and social distancing.