Our beloved Ruby Jean Johnson Willis made her triumphant return to Heaven on April 21, 2021. We’re grateful we had her for as long as we did. She was “practically perfect in every way”, and Heaven now will benefit from her remarkable presence.
Our Incredible Matriarch, Glorious Gram, GG, Jeaner, Magnificent Mom, Wonderful Wife, sister, aunt, friend & confidant, has returned home. No doubt she was met by numerous loved ones.
Ruby Jean was born in Meadowville, Utah, on November 13, 1935 to Harold and Lola Johnson. As the oldest child, Ruby quickly assumed her position as the go-to person that everyone could depend on – a role she would fill her entire life. She grew up working in the hayfields and in the kitchen, where she learned her incredible lifelong work ethic. She played clarinet and held positions in student government at North Rich High School. Her Sophomore year, Ruby began dating her only sweetheart and future husband, Elijah Mckay Willis of Laketown. Being the strong willed, “stubborn as a Georgia mule” as Mckay would lovingly describe her, Ruby Jean made him wait a year after her graduation, before agreeing to marry. They only had eyes for each other. They married in the Logan Utah Temple on June 8, 1956. As newlyweds, they supported their families’ ranches, and worked together in the hayfields, all while attending Utah State University. Together they shared close to 66 years of marriage, showing us what love and devotion is all about.
Jean left the farm lands for a while and traveled widely, as she supported Mckay in his United States Air Force career. Travels took them and their children to Texas, Missouri, off to Holland, to California, Ohio, Virginia and onto Georgia. Wherever they went, they gained lifelong friends. Jeaner had the unique ability to make everyone instantly feel welcome. While supporting Mckay in his military and ecclesiastical duties, and raising 4 children, Jean served in various leadership roles within her church and community. Her ministry was incredibly effective, typically involving true charity and fabulous food. As a couple they provided a lifetime of service to their country, community and family.
Jean’s testimony of Jesus Christ was simple yet powerful. She was a lifelong and faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She listened to the Tabernacle Choir every Sunday. Her devotion and commitment to Christlike service was an inspiration to family and friends. She always sought out (and typically found) someone who needed warm rolls or a fresh bouquet of flowers from her garden. Her hands were never idle, always working to lift a burden. When she smiled at you, her beautiful blue eyes sparkled.
Her children, grandchildren were the greatest joy of her life. She was the ultimate Gram/GG, who provided treats and warm hugs. Once her great grandkids arrived, she was in seventh heaven. She always wanted a baby on her lap or kids at the table to play a game.
Our favorite place to gather with our gram/mom was on her patio. She now sits on a new patio with friends and family gathered around her.
Jean was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers, Norm (Janice) and Howard and many beloved friends and family. We have no doubt there was much joy upon her arrival.
She is survived by her devoted husband, E. Mckay, Tom (Patty) Willis, Tamra (Scott) Behunin, Tracy (Sam) Whitt, and Thad (Melissa) Willis, 17 adoring grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren, and siblings, Don (Ellen) and Colleen (Lynn).
Our gratitude to the many caretakers at Maple Springs and Cache Valley Hospice for their kindness to our Mom and Gram.
A funeral to honor Ruby Jean will be held on Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 1:00 pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Laketown, Utah. Visitation will be held from 11:00-12:45 that morning.
Funeral arrangements under the direction of Allen-Hall Mortuary (34 E Center St., Logan, UT).