In memory of
Ruby Jewel Fandrich
Ruby Jewel Fandrich
Feb. 4, 1916 - Oct. 22, 2019
After 103 years, Ruby Jewel Fandrich, the gem of all jewels, quietly ascended to the big ballroom in the sky to dance and play the grandest piano of all on October 22nd...a day of special significance because it was the birth date of her precious granddaughter, Tiffany, and the wedding anniversary of her beloved son Frank and daughter-in-law Judy.
Ruby was born in Glasgow, Mont., to Mary Lindberg Stevens and Frank Alex Stevens. At age 7, her divorced mother and the five children moved to Portland where Ruby attended Failing Grammar School. She often spoke of the advantages she enjoyed in S.W. Portland that afforded her access to a city library, community centers, the Neighborhood House that offered dancing lessons and an in-door swimming pool and the Helen Kelly Manley Community Center where she attended church, girl's clubs, gym, basketball and social activities that were non-existent for her in Montana. She managed to receive piano lessons and eventually played every day for the school marches while the students were ushered in and out of the school building. She swam for the old Neighborhood House, winning several medals including a Silver at a pre-Olympic tryout for the Grand Opening of Jantzen Beach Amusement Park.
During the Depression, the family was forced to move to a rural community in Clackamas where transportation was difficult and social activities were limited. She graduated from Milwaukie Union High School where she kept busy in Art, Drama, Sewing and various other school activities. She was a life-guard on the Clackamas River near High Rocks during the summers but was sponsored to swim for the Multnomah Athletic Club her senior year and won first place medals in the 500 meter City and State championships. After graduation in 1935, she attended Oregon State University, then Pacific Business College.
Ruby married Fred Fandrich in 1938 and settled in a little bungalow that her husband remodeled into a proper house in Gladstone. She worked as a Copy Writer for Associated Advertising Company and then Montgomery Ward in Oregon City. They moved to North Portland when WWII broke out as her husband worked in the ship yards.
She was active in the war effort. In PTA at Kenton School, and as a member of the Eastern Star she was able to organize entertainment. She eventually became the Worthy Matron of Mt. Hood Eastern Star and was recruited to State-wide offices as well.
She loved dancing and music. Her years as co-owner of the Lenore and Ruby School of Dance were the most hectic time of her life, but probably the most enjoyable because, while incorporating her passion for music, she was able to work with young people putting on recitals, designing and sewing costumes. Her painting and drawing artistic abilities broadened to include scenery and back-drops.
Her motto was to always stay busy and avoid boredom and that she did when the family home was displaced by the construction of the I-5 freeway. They moved the house that she and her husband had built with their own hands to another location and eventually bought two apartment complexes. She then went to work for Safeco and was at Pearson & Company Insurance in the Claims Department during the Columbus Day storm. She and her husband never rested. She retired, but that wasn't enough for Ruby, either. She studied to become a Master Gardener and joined the Laurelhurst Dance Club where she served as President of the Women's Club and Manager of the building's affairs.
After her husband's sudden death, Ruby wanted to continue dancing and was lucky enough to find a congenial partner. Leo was a fellow musician and they soon collaborated their talents to continue entertaining, this time in the form of sing-a-longs at retirement centers and the Milwaukie Senior Center. Her family complained that she was so busy with her gigs and activities with the Oak Grove Garden Club, they almost had to make an appointment in advance to spend time with her.
Ruby's final residence was The Springs at Clackamas Woods, where she settled in with her piano and will always be remembered as "entertaining."
Ruby was predeceased by her husband, Fred Fandrich; son, Frank Fandrich; granddaughter, Tiffany Berg Adamson; and devoted companion, Leo Browne.
Ruby left behind her daughter, Claudia Berg and son-in-law, Jim; as well as her granddaughter, Nicolle Reid (husband, Matthew); grandsons, Kenneth Fandrich (wife, Tanya), Ricky Fandrich and Lance Fandrich (wife, Amy); as well as great-grandchildren, Tucker Adamson, Viansa Reid, Benjamin Reid and Richard Fandrich II.
In lieu of remembrances, donations may be made to The Tiffany Adamson Scholarship Fund for Nursing students at Clackamas Community College.
Please sign the online guest book at www.oregonlive.com/obits
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