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Pause Home and Hearth by Bruce H. Zimmerman (ASCAP)
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Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Ruby by adding your memories and photos.

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Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home

Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home
101 Gerkin
Gregory, SD 57533
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Memories & Candles

“What a beautiful lady with the warmest smile. We always looked forward to seeing her during the winter visits she and Oris made to Tempe, AZ. And...Read More »
1 of 10 | Posted by: Ken and Janet Seegren - Tempe, AZ

Jim & Diana, Jillian, Colin Smith “To the Shippy Family,Please know that we are praying for you as you grieve the loss of your precious Mom, Grandma, and GreatGrandma. One year ago...Read More »
2 of 10 | Posted by: Jim&Diana Smith - Phoenix, AZ

“I grew up southwest of Dallas and attended Calvary Chapel. Ruby was my Sunday School teacher for many of those years. I have many fond memories of...Read More »
3 of 10 | Posted by: Roger Nelson - BLANCHARDVILLE, WI

“Condolences to you all. Ruby was always so friendly and hospitable whenever we would visit. Remember once when my sister and I visited in Arizona...Read More »
4 of 10 | Posted by: Carol and Cloyce Abel

“What a sweet kind, patient, forgiving Christian woman Aunt Ruby was. I remember her fixing food for us several times when our mom passed away. One...Read More »
5 of 10 | Posted by: Janell Heath - Colome, SD

“Remembering Ruby and her family with fond memories. What a wonderful family she raised. Thinking of all of you at this time. ”
6 of 10 | Posted by: Jo and gene Christensen - Kadoka, SD

“So happy for your Mom! We remember her loving & caring nature. We feel the tug at your hearts as you say "Good Bye" & pray that you can smile as...Read More »
7 of 10 | Posted by: Donovan & Velma Claassen - KS

“Thank you, Mom, for claiming me as part of the family through the years. Your kindness will always be remembered! ”
8 of 10 | Posted by: Frieda Erickson - Seldovia, AK

“Shirley, so sorry, we were just talking about her last week. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. You need help with anything you...Read More »
9 of 10 | Posted by: Ben and Vicki Fischer - Millboro, SD

“My family lived southeast of Colome years ago and we knew Ruby and her family from Calvary Chapel. She was such a vibrant person and I still have...Read More »
10 of 10 | Posted by: Alta Greer Empkey - Omaha, NE


Ruby Mae Mudgett was born to LeRoy and Clara Mudgett on January 6, 1923 in Fargo, N. Dakota. She joined her brother Harvey (18 months older), and 22 months later, sister Bernice came. Her father struggled to find work, but made harnesses for a while. When Ruby was four, sadly he left the family, and she never saw him again. Her single mother returned to Colome, S Dakota. She made ends meet doing household work and selling her oatmeal cookies. The children had to live at times with Aunt Margaret Funk, and took turns riding the train to Dunsmuir, California to live with Aunt Sue Funk Evans, where they attended school. The family of five lived a few years with grandparents Fred and Alcinda Funk in a one-bedroom house southwest of Winner. Ruby did not complain of hardship, but accepted life and said she remembered an orange in her school lunch every day. She determined not to complain, choosing to focus on the positive.

She enjoyed school, graduating from Colome High School. She kept in touch with good friends. Many recall that one day Ruby and Thelma Atteberry went to the cellar after school, and ate a whole jar of canned peaches, which "was against the rules." She loved fun school songs from The Golden Songbook, and sang them recently at age 93, enjoying them again.

At fifteen, she began to date Orris Shippy. She hunted with him and was amazed when she shot her first rabbit, so she always said, "Maybe he just fell down from fright." She helped extract honey even though she was stung five times the first day before figuring out where to lay her hand. His Aunt Margaret Shippy was married to her Uncle Lee Funk, so they knew each other from family gatherings, and spent lots of fun times at their house playing dominoes and eating popcorn. They married two years later on June 17, 1940 and celebrated their seventieth anniversary in 2010. They loved farming south of Colome. She deeply loved him and their six children, eighteen grandchildren, and thirty-five great grandchildren. Babies and little children were her lifelong love. They still delighted her even as recently as two weeks ago. Spending twenty winters in Arizona gave them a special time with family there. She loved selflessly, and grandchildren brought her special joy, because she had more time to enjoy each one, and that love went both ways.

She cooked the hard way, making all the family's bread, butter, cottage cheese, and the weekly summer gallon of ice cream, and so much more. The family loved it, thinking she did too, but learned later it was not her first love; she just did her work, with a smile and laughter. So we thought, it was as much fun for her as it was for us. She gardened, sewed, and worked hard. Her hobby was faithfully writing many postcards and letters to her family and numerous friends.

Facing anxiety her whole life, Ruby kept busy to cope and did not let it interfere with her love of people. One particular fear was horses, because of a photo of a horse rearing up near a girl. But in recent years she enjoyed watching westerns, especially the beauty of horses as they ran. She knew she wasn't perfect, but trusted God and His good news of Jesus coming to be like us, die in our place, and rescue us from independence from Him. Living her faith quietly, she accepted people and life, and was known for her heart of compassion, and was also a champion listener.

She loved people not things, and brought joy to many with her warm smile and love of laughter. Her sister said, "Ruby laughed until she was beside herself, until you just couldn't understand it." She laughed with her entire being. One time she laughed so hard that she fell off her chair, and that was as an adult.

She managed diabetes, survived several TIA's (first in July 2010), a broken hip May 2013 (as she gathered dandelions at age ninety-one). She worked hard to walk again and get back to her home in the Elder Inn, where she had lived with Orris for five years and then four more by herself. Then Feb 2015, colon cancer came knocking. She recovered as best she could from surgery, but soon moved to Winner Regional Long Term Care June 2015. She fell two months later, breaking the other hip, and spent her last year in a wheelchair. 2016 brought more decline with strokes, a heart attack, and some dementia. Through it all, by God's mercy, she found strength and ways to recover, remember and connect with people, sing on the phone, keep her mind as clear as she could, smile and laugh frequently.

Ruby Mae Shippy, 93 of Colome and Winner went home to be with her Lord on August 12, 2016.

She was preceded in death by her husband Orris, her parents, and brother Harvey Mudgett, one son Larry, one grandson Lonnie (Larry), one daughter-in-law Jan Shippy (Kyle), one son-in-law Dennis Shelbourn, and one grandson-in-law David Semmler.

She is survived by her sister Bernice Mudgett (Sioux City, IA) and three sons: Kyle and wife Connie (Colome, SD); Wayne and wife Nancy (Tempe, AZ); Keith and wife Carol (Tempe, AZ); and two daughters: Shirley Shelbourn (Winner, SD); Beverly and husband Lawrence Traver (Pinetop, AZ); and one daughter-in-law: Kelly Shippy Ornelas (Cheyenne, WY), as well as eighteen grandchildren and thirty-five great grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. Her grandchildren are Kyle's: Mark, Kay, Lisa, Dale and Scott; Wayne's: Kelley, Christopher, Valerie, Paul and Naomi; Larry's: Tonya and Madison; Shirley's: Todd, Travis and Tom; and Keith's: Anne and John.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

A memorial service for Ruby Shippy was held Saturday, August 27, 2016 at 2 p.m. at the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Winner, SD with Reverend Brad Irick and Reverend Don Letellier officiating.

Guest book attendants were Cleo & Jerrene Watzel.

Flower attendants were Lee

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