Elizabeth O’Neal is hosting the February Genealogy Blog Party with the theme being the traditional one for the month: LOVE.
February Genealogy Blog Party
There are a lot of different directions one could go with this theme. I’ve decided to spotlight the 63 year marriage of my in-laws, Edward Earl Stufflebean and Ruby Jewel Sturgell, as this year is the sixteenth year anniversary that we lost Ed and the fifth anniversary since we lost Ruby.
Why did I choose Ed and Ruby as the subjects of this post? So many people complain about their in-laws and how awful they are. I was very lucky as Ed and Ruby were wonderful people and fabulous in-laws.
Edward Earl Stufflebean was born 6 June 1917 in Norman, Cleveland, Oklahoma. He was the first of two children born to Earl Marcus and Pearl Lillian (Brasher) Stufflebean.
Ed was just coming into his teenage years when the Depression hit. Life was hard for the family. School days were left behind and Ed served two years in the U.S. Army cavalry at Fort Bliss, Texas before returning to Oklahoma.
By this time, Oklahoma was suffering a double whammy as the Depression was followed by the Dust Bowl. Ed wasn’t able to get a job in Norman, so he headed southwest to Anadarko and found a job as a delivery man for the Mistletoe Express.
It was there that he met the pretty young lady, Ruby Jewel Sturgell. Ruby was born on 10 July 1919 in Verden, Grady, Oklahoma, the third child and second daughter born to Oscar Eldon and Ethel (Nation) Sturgell. The Sturgells moved from Verden to Anadarko, where Ruby attended Anadarko High School.
Ruby Jewel Sturgell
Ed and Ruby met about the time she close to her 1937 high school graduation. After a bit of old fashioned courting, Ed proposed and Ruby accepted.
Ed, Ruby and the Mistletoe Express Delivery Truck
This is the earliest photo I have of Ed and Ruby together. They are both dressed to the nines, Ed in a sharp suit and Ruby in her skirt and jacket. I have to wonder if this might have been taken when they got engaged.
Ed and Ruby married on 24 April 1938 in Anadarko, with Oscar Sturgell giving his consent, as Ruby was under the age of 21.
Ed and Ruby settled down to married life in Anadarko, where Ed had secured a job at the State Hospital. Just over a year later, on 8 June 1939, daughter Patricia Ann joined the family.
As America was heading into World War II, Ed started hearing stories about life in the Golden State of California. A month after the Pearl Harbor attack, Ed bought a bus ticket and rode to California. Ruby and Patsey remained in Oklahoma until Ed found a job and a place for the family to live.
He got hired on right away at Safeway:
He also found a comfortable house to rent from Mr. and Mr. Murrell in Compton:
Mr. & Mrs. Murrell with a grandchild
After his stint at Safeway, Ed was offered a job at the Shell Oil Refinery, which paid better and provided a career job as an instrument repairman.
Life was good. Ed was always a hard-working, good-natured family man. Family came first. There were times when he worked a second or even third part-time job to bring in extra money.
However, work didn’t stop him from quality family time.
A few years later, Ed and Ruby welcomed son Phillip. Dave was the last member welcomed to the family:
The Stufflebeans decided it was time to become home owners themselves and bought a home in Long Beach, where Ed and Ruby lived until retirement.
Ruby was a homemaker and an excellent cook. She made sure the kids were off to school on time and got their homework done. She knew how to have some fun, too!
There were family vacations visiting relatives:
and trips to the mountains:
Ed and Ruby were big on taking photos, so we have lots of them through the years:
When grandchildren arrived, Ed and Ruby were always happy to help out:
Ed and Ruby loved to have family over for the day, enjoying a great meal and visiting. If their kids needed help with something around the house, Ed was super handy with his hands so they would come spend the day and get the job done.
As they approached their Golden Wedding Anniversary, the family wanted to host a party for them. Ed and Ruby were very low-key people and friends who had already reached the milestone started the trend of self hosting small parties at home. That’s what Ed and Ruby wanted for their own celebration.
Years passed by quickly and at the turn of the 21st century, Ed’s health began to fail. He passed away on 1 May 2002 and was buried with military honors at Riverside National Cemetery.
Ruby survived Ed by eleven years, passing away on 4 May 2013. She is buried with Ed, her husband of 63 years, at Riverside.
The family has warm memories of the love that Ed and Ruby had for each other and for their family. Ruby’s eyes always had a sparkle in them and her smile would light up a room. She made sure that everyone was comfortable and well fed. Ed could fix anything and gave hours of help. Both doted on their children and grandchildren and extended family members.
They are both missed!