Ruby Martin

Obituary of Ruby Edith Martin

Ruby Edith Borgstrom (Woods) (Martin)

(December 9, 1919 - March 13, 2023)


It is with great sadness we announce the passing of our dear Mom Ruby Borgstrom (Woods) (Martin), yet with great joy that Mom has gone home to be with the Lord.


Ruby was born December 9, 1919 in Provost, Alberta, to English immigrants Fredrick and Laura Gregory. Ruby was the sixth of seven children, sister to Bob, Fred, Raymond, Billy, Jenny, and Ida who passed away as an infant. As the baby of the family, Ruby felt cherished by her parents and siblings. Ruby was the last surviving child to pass away of the Gregory family and of that generation.


Life on the farm was a family affair of hard work. During the day her dad raised sheep and broke horses and her mom spun the wool to make quilts to sell as well as baked goods. In the evening music was a favourite pastime and is some of Mom’s fondest memories. Mom recently shared that standing on her dad’s feet as he danced with her around the room as one of them.

Ruby attended a country school from Grade 1-9. Walking, riding horseback or horse and buggy with her siblings was their mode of transportation.

Ruby has shared how one day, walking home from school, the grasshoppers were so bad that they were jumping down the front of her shirt so she placed her school books under a tree and ran home in order to keep the grasshoppers away.


Ruby left home at 16 years of age in order to attend high school in Provost where she worked as a housekeeper for the Seth family to pay for her room and board. When she finished high school at the age of 17, she moved to Edmonton and worked as a nanny and housekeeper for the Provincial Secretary Treasurer John Perceval. She worked there until her brother Bob asked if she could come to New Norway to help look after her niece Isabel when Everlyn was born. It was there that Ruby met Arnold Borgstrom at a ball game. At 19 years old and after dating for six months, they were married at the homestead near Ferintosh that they eventually bought and raised seven girls.


Life on the farm was busy. Ruby worked hard alongside Arnold to build a foundation and a legacy for their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to be proud of. Not only did they raise seven girls but Ruby managed to raise chickens and a large garden of vegetables for many years. Ruby was an amazing cook. She would say with a smile on her face that everything on the supper table was either grown, raised or baked by her. She also canned peaches, raspberries, rhubarb and strawberries to name a few that were enjoyed by many throughout the years. Ruby and Arnold raised their girls in the Christian faith. Many a Sunday was spent attending church followed by the day spent with family or friends.


Ruby always had an ear for music playing the guitar, piano and organ. She could sit and play a tune by memory. Her love for music has been passed down to her children and grandchildren. Ruby was also a gifted seamstress, sewing many beautiful outfits for her daughters for special occasions and weddings. She also was commissioned to sew outfits for other people. Once her daughters were grown and gone, she ventured out working part time in the kitchen at Augustana College. Eventually Ruby and Arnold moved to Camrose to enjoy a slower pace of life of camping and going to senior activities. They also enjoyed traveling to Hawaii, Greece, Israel, Mexico, and Costa Rica.


Ruby showed her family how to prevail through trials and sorrows as she took care of Arnold when he was sick with cancer. After Arnold’s passing Ruby said she would never marry again. But as time passed, she opened her heart and home and married two more times expanding the family fold, sharing her love and kindness to Ivan Woods and Bill Martin and their families, continuing to enjoy a life of camping and traveling. Ruby also took care of Ivan and Bill during the time they were battling cancer until their passing.


Ruby continued to live in her own home in Camrose until she moved into Rosalta Lodge at the age of 94. She attended Messiah Lutheran Church and volunteered at the Tuck Gift Shop at St Mary's Hospital. She also had a small garden and did some canning until she moved to the lodge. As a way to relax Ruby spent many hours reading, crocheting blankets, and knitting wash cloths until she lost most of her vision to macular degeneration. Many of us have been blessed with one of Ruby’s colourful blankets. Ruby would most likely offer you a wash cloth when you came for a visit. She loved clothes, and always enjoyed getting new outfits as gifts for Christmas and Mother’s Day.


Ruby has touched the hearts and lives of so many. Just as the sweet sound of the music she played on the organ in her room lingered down the halls of Rosalta Lodge so did her love and kindness. Ruby had made many friends while she was living there. She used to enjoy sharing popcorn and watching curling with her special friend Gary. Many a time Ruby would sit in a chair in the hallway to visit with other residents or enjoy an ice cream treat with her dear friend Dolores. Her friend Marion would visit often and of course hardly a day went by that a member of her family didn’t stop in for a visit. She also enjoyed giving hugs to the staff bringing a smile to their faces.


In Dec 2022, Ruby moved to Bethany Meadows and soon won over the hearts of the nursing staff. In Feb 2023, she fell and broke her hip. This unfortunate incident was a turning point for Ruby’s health and wellbeing. She put up an incredible fight to try and overcome her injury, receiving excellent care from the nursing staff at Bethany Meadows. Although Ruby’s mind was willing her body grew weak and on March 13th she went Home to be with the Lord as she passed away peacefully in her sleep.


This little write up only touches a few moments of time throughout Ruby’s life. There are countless stories to be told by everyone who knew her. Ruby said many times throughout the years she would like to have been a teacher. She was the best teacher to her daughters by her words and her example. Not only a teacher and a mentor but a nurse when they were sick, a counsellor when they needed advice and even a preacher when they needed direction. She has built a wonderful legacy to be proud of. Ruby was an amazing person and a wonderful mom and one of the people her family admire most in their lives. Her family are so incredibly proud of her! She has shown her family Christ's love and compassion, mercy and grace and we honour her today. We ask the Lord to bless her and keep her, to make His face to shine upon her and give her His peace this day and always. Mom was loved dearly by her family and will be missed.


Left to cherish in her memory are her children Orlene (Ted) Wigglesworth, Myrna (Dale) Fankhanel, Linda (Terry) Jones, Leona Capeling, Jeannie Bell, Karen Bowes, Terrie (Alan) Luckwell; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, step-grandchildren, step-families, relatives and friends. Ruby was predeceased by her parents Fred and Laura Gregory; two sisters; four brothers; first husband Arnold Borgstrom; second husband Ivan Woods; third husband Bill Martin; and sons-in-law Glen Capeling and Terry Bell.


A Funeral Service was held at 1:00 p.m., Monday, March 20, 2023 from the Messiah Lutheran Church, 4810 - 50th Street Camrose where a funeral service with Rev. Calvin Skriver officiating. The service was recorded, and accessible at the following link:

If family and friends so desire, memorial contributions in Ruby's memory may be made to the Heart & Stroke Foundation, or to Alberta Cancer Foundation.


Funeral Service

1:00 pm
Monday, March 20, 2023
Messiah Lutheran Church
4810 - 50th Street
Camrose, Alberta, Canada
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