Ruby Louise Wills Jestice, 88, Rutledge, left this earth to be with her Heavenly Father July 9, 2020, while at the Serenity House in Morristown, TN.
Born February 13, 1932, in Salt Lick, KY, she was the daughter of Hurby and Mirl Wills. She had two sisters and a brother. At a young age, they moved to Middletown, OH seeking a better life.
She went to schools in Middletown until she was in the 9th grade, when she attended Monroe High School. While riding the school bus, she caught the eye of her future husband, Homer Jestice who was a senior. It was love at first sight, and they were married February 28, 1948. She gave birth to 4 sons: Eugene, Rickey, Cliff, and Randy.
She loved children, and became a foster mom, lovingly caring for many of them. One of them, Albert Lee Smith (Terri), who is now a grandfather, living in Port Neches, TX, has stayed in touch all these years.
When she was in her early forties, she got her GED, attended nursing school in Dayton, OH, and became a licensed LPN. She worked at a nursing home near her residence until 1979 when they purchased the Down Home Restaurant and Motel in Rutledge, TN. She cleaned rooms and helped in the restaurant for a while before becoming Charge nurse on the evening shift at Ridgeview Terrace Nursing Home, which had recently opened. She was an excellent nurse, well liked and respected by all who knew her. Due to her influence and encouragement, at least 5 aides who worked with her became RNs. One of whom Fonda (Lakins) Kitts deserves special mention. She was a Godsend, when in Ruby’s last days she came to help care for her.
She continued to work after the World’s Fair in 1982 while Homer found ways to keep the business afloat. By 1986, they began to spend part of the winter in Florida. Eventually, after converting the motel into apartments, the sold them to their son, Cliff and Debra in 1989 and moved to Englewood, FL. Ruby loved it; especially fishing in the Gulf and socializing and attending church with friends. While in Florida, she was diagnosed with being Type 1 diabetic and put on an insulin pump.
After 7 wonderful years, due to health problems, they returned to Rutledge. She always wanted a little girl, so when the opportunity to care for her great granddaughter, Naomi Grace came, she finally got her desire. A little girl to dress in beautiful dresses and lavish with love.
She was a loving, happy person, always smiling and never complaining. A wonderful wife and mother. She and Homer had accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior in 1952, and were baptized near Morehead, KY.
She suffered from dementia and it caused her to get up in the middle of the night. Somehow, she fell and broke her hip. In order to keep his promise to not put her in a nursing home, Homer brought her home after surgery to loving and expert help from Avalon Hospice and loving care from Arden Jestice, Terri Smith, and Fonda Kitts. Her diabetes and her age took their toll and she became comatose. She was then taken to Serenity House. While there, she peacefully departed this mortal life to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ forever.
She is survived by her loving husband of 72 years, Homer Heraldon Jestice; sons, Eugene H. Jestice (Joan) of Waynesville, OH, Clifford W. Jestice (Debra) of Rutledge, TN, Randy L. Jestice (Nandini) of Chattanooga, TN, and Albert L. Smith (Terri) of Port Neches, TX; 10 grandchildren; 6 great- grandchildren; sister, Peggy Rose Wills Newkirk (Don) of Worthington, OH; many nieces and nephews; and her little friend, Littlebit, a mini pincher, whom she loved.
She was preceded in death by her son, Rickey L. Jestice of Lebanon, OH; brother, Carl E. Wills of Placerville, CA; and sister, Virginia of Englewood, FL.
Graveside services were held, Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at Jefferson Memorial Gardens with Dr. Keith Mowery officiating.
A special thanks to the wonderful, caring staff at Serenity House. What a wonderful, peaceful place to be as one waits for the Lord to call her/him home.
The family requests that Memoriams be sent to Serenity House, 421 N. High Street, Morristown, TN 37814.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Smith-Reagan Funeral Home in Rutledge, TN.
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