Published: Aug 19, 2012 12:05 AM
Modified: Aug 19, 2012 12:05 AM
Ruby Barrett Graham of Chapel Hill, age 95, died peacefully on June 30, 2012 . Born in Gastonia July 21, 1916, she was the second daughter and third child of the Rev. W.C. Barrett and Ruby McKay of Laurinburg after whom she was named. She grew up in the Baptist Church, first in Gastonia and from the sixth grade in Laurinburg. Ruby graduated from Meredith College in 1937 and was president of the student body her senior year. Following graduation she taught for five years in the public schools of Goldsboro and met her future husband, John Borden Graham MD.
In 1946 Ruby, her husband, and eldest child Barrett moved to Chapel Hill. Two additional children followed: a daughter Virginia and a son Thomas. In her early years in Chapel Hill Ruby was active in community affairs, particularly with the public schools and the Presbyterian Church. Subsequently she spent 25 years working for the UNC Alumni Association. She vigorously supported her husband's academic career in the Department of Pathology at UNC. In addition to entertaining numerous visitors and organizations, she lovingly opened her home to her extended family and the friends of her children. Ruby enjoyed extensive travel with her husband. She was appreciated for her fine cooking, her sense of humor, her love of bourbon whiskey and of chocolate syrup and the fact that she never met a stranger.
After suffering a debilitating stroke in 1993 Ruby lived at home where she was lovingly cared for by several caregivers and her husband John until his death in 2004. Subsequently she lived at the Dubose Health Center at the Cedars of Chapel Hill. She is survived by her brother John G. Barrett of Lexington, VA; her sons C. Barrett Graham (Sharyne) of Newport, NC and Thomas W. Graham (Trina) of Alamance County, NC; daughter Virginia G. Drill (Zachary) of Hillsborough, NC; granddaughters Catherine D. Buchanan (Jason) of Wake Forest, NC and Linda M Graham of Carrboro, NC; and great-grandson Caden M. Buchanan.
She will be interred in Laurinburg, NC.
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