In loving memory of

Ruby Godfrey
May 20, 1926 - September 15, 2023

Ruby Godfrey, 97, of Red Oak, IA passed away on Friday, September 15, 2023 at the Arlington Place in Red Oak. Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 22, 2023 at the Loess Hills Funeral Home in Malvern with Pastor Denise Stevens and Rev. Joe Eisenbacher officiating. Fellowship and lunch with the family, at the Charles E. and Florence M. Lakin Community Center, will immediately follow the service. Private burial will be in the Wesley Chapel Cemetery, rural Hastings. Visitation with the family present will be from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 22, 2023 at the Loess Hills Funeral Home in Malvern. Loess Hills Funeral Home in Malvern is caring for Ruby and her family.

Memorials: In lieu of flowers, memorials are to the donor's choice

Lifestory of Ruby Godfrey
News traveled fast around Henderson on May 20, 1926 - Marion Smith and wife Nora Belle (McGee) had a second child, Ruby Darlene! Ruby joined older brother Charles, and would later have another brother, Donald, and a sister Mamie. They made their home on several farms near Henderson, where Ruby and siblings attended town school, transported in a wooden school bus over rural roads, some of them unimproved. She was a good student and graduated in 1943, working the next year for the Macedonia school in the office. She attended Normal Training for teachers, and taught in a one-room school, Valley #5 near Silver City. During her time there, she met a handsome young farmer who grew up only a couple of miles from her house, but their paths had not yet crossed since they attended different schools. He often came and gave her a ride to her lodging on his pony when it was too muddy to walk, and he cleaned the school sidewalks (clear out to the outhouse!) for her when it snowed. On June 2, 1946, she and Don Godfrey were the first couple to be married in the recently rebuilt Henderson Christian Church.
Though she was a farm girl, she had two brothers who helped their dad with the tractor and livestock work while she and her sister helped with household and chicken chores. But she was up to the challenge and became Don's right-hand gal when he needed help with 'most anything, from field work to livestock. Together they labored as a team to make things work. Two years later, Richard was born, and they delighted in parenthood, adding brother Darrell in 1954. Their family was their joy throughout their lives. Ruby was a happy homemaker, and an excellent one. One year she was named Homemaker of the year in Mills County. She and Don were active in their church (Wesley Chapel) and in farm organizations, and enjoyed getting together with friends. A special group of five couples formed in their early years known as the Happy 10. They remained friends for life and all them couples achieved at least 60 years of marriage. She was especially close friends with neighbors Delia Wilson and Pluma and Irene McGrew.
Though she was never in 4-H, she loved being a 4-H leader for the local Peppy Pals 4-H club. Ruby was treasurer of the women's church group and later of Nishna Valley Parish, of which Wesley Chapel was one of the churches. She sang in small groups at church and played the piano for church services, as well as playing "Happy Birthday" for anyone, anywhere.
She was also instrumental in getting the Mills County History Book assembled and printed in 1985 and did much work on it. She kept excellent records of family history and loved conversations about who lived where and who their children were.
Crocheting was one of her hobbies; her crowning achievement was a 4x6 foot crocheted flag, and she made more afghans than you could count! She was a wonderful cook and enjoyed collecting cookbooks. Another special hobby was collecting butter knives, especially ones with twisted handles!
But she was most proud of her family, which included her husband Don (whom she referred to as, "My good husband"), son Richard and wife Rita, son Darrell and wife Nelda, grandson Mark and wife Brooke Godfrey, granddaughter Elisabeth (Godfrey) and husband Joe Eisenbacher, and great-grandchildren David, Lydia and Daniel Eisenbacher and Charlotte Godfrey, as well as many other beloved family and friends, here and in the hereafter.
She will be greatly missed, but we feel sure she is now in perfect health in a body that will never grow old, singing to God with all her might and serving lunch to anyone who might stop by her mansion in heaven.


Jenni Burgoin-Comer wrote on Sep 20, 2023:

"Rest in Peace sweet lady. So many memories of times spent at the dinner table with a menu that could feed a small town. I remember her playing the piano/organ singing and then square dancing after dinner sometimes too. She always had a lesson, a story of something new, a wise word but always kind. She was full of energy, knowledge and hugs. One of my favorite memories was when she met Hannah for the first time, she was holding her and talking to her and Uncle Don looked over and called her a "baby hog" because he wanted to hold her. :) Needless to say - he waited a little longer. Thank you for always opening your home and heart to us, times spent with family can never be replaced and I cherish the time I spent with her. Love you always - give Grandma/Grandpa and Dad a hug for me. "

Deb Sanborn Eidam wrote on Sep 18, 2023:

"Oh my, what a special lady! And she truly was A Lady! I first met Ruby in the fall of 1973 as an ISU student. Darrell and I were great 4-H friends and continued our friendship throughout the years. Then I met the love of his life, Nelda. When they asked me to be a bridesmaid in their wedding, Ruby approved wholeheartedly. Ruby cherished her two sons and especially their loving wives. Then, my mom met Ruby and they formed a friendship. They had so much in common. Educators, 4-H leaders, active church members, farm wives and loving mothers. I don?t think alcohol ever passed their lips or a swear word. Don and Ruby always welcomed me like a daughter. One of my fondest memories is taking my three toddlers to the farm where they did tractor and wagon rides. Another one was watching them dance at Granddaughter Elisabeth?s wedding and dueling it out with Nelda?s parents as the longest married couple in attendance. So much joy! I feel truly blessed to have known Ruby. I?m sure that my mom has welcomed her to heaven with open arms and a smile to be reunited again. Deb Sanborn Eidam"

Pat Mercer wrote on Sep 18, 2023:

"Just read of Ruby's passing. Such a sweetie, one of the nicest ladies I have known. Always enjoyed Don and Ruby at church. Thoughts and prayers to Don, Dick and Rita and all the family at this sad time."