Ruby Ruth Noel
Ruby Ruth Noel
  • June 1, 1929 - January 4, 2018
  • Woodway, Texas

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Ruby Ruth Cate Noel, devoted wife, mother and grandmother, died peacefully January 4, 2018 in Waco. She was 88.

Ruby was born June 1, 1929, to Homer P. Cate and May Vermillion Cate in Altoga, Texas. The Cate family lived in Altoga before moving to Van Alstyne, Texas, in 1936, where Ruby grew into young adulthood. After graduating from Van Alstyne High School in 1945, Ruby attended the University of North Texas, graduating in 1949 with a degree in Library Sciences. She also earned a Master's degree in education.

Literature was more than just a degree and a profession for Ruby. She was a lifelong bibliophile and a voracious reader in multiple genres, but especially of the Bible and Christian literature. After graduating from North Texas, Ruby moved to White Deer, Texas, to take the position of school librarian at White Deer High School. It was in White Deer that she met her husband, James Noel. Ruby and James were married July 11, 1950 and would go on to celebrate 67 years of marriage together.

In 1953, Ruby and James moved to El Paso, Texas, where she worked as a technical librarian at Fort Bliss. Her responsibilities included handling top secret/classified information for the U.S. Army. Often, she was accompanied by soldiers when she was tasked with destroying classified documents. She said, "It was daunting to know I was walking across the base with top secret documents in my hand."

In 1959, Ruby, James and their young family returned to Irving, then moved to Plano in 1962. While Ruby and James raised their family, Ruby worked full-time as a school librarian for Dallas Independent School District for more than 30 years, retiring in 1993. Shortly after moving to Plano, Ruby started the library at First Baptist Church of Plano. From the humble beginnings of a student desk, a single card file and seven donated books, Ruby oversaw the church library as it grew to more than 7,000 volumes and provided multiple generations access to Christian books and media.

Ruby's faith in Jesus Christ was central to her life. She prayed fervently for the salvation of others and was a devoted member of First Baptist Church Plano for decades. Ruby's life was typified by quiet acts of service and generosity that rarely drew attention to themselves or her. Those rewards have now been bestowed by her Lord. Ruby also took great pride in her Texas heritage and the faith and accomplishments of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Ruby was an excellent cook and baker, collecting and sharing hundreds of recipes over the years and carefully cataloging them as she did with her books-first on 3x5 index cards and later using computer software. She enjoyed family gatherings and holidays at her home in Plano, and--until the last few years of life-was in full control of her kitchen and all activities within it. A stern glance or word of warning from Ruby sent interlopers scurrying until she was fully prepared to serve them.

Following her retirement, Ruby and James traveled extensively to many parts of the U.S. and even overseas. She had a keen mind for retaining information about historical places and people, and enthusiastically shared these experiences with her friends and family. Ruby also was an avid gardener and tended to her flowers faithfully, enjoying the beauty of God's creation in them. She was an accomplished seamstress and quilter, winning awards at the State Fair of Texas for her crochet work. Being a member of the JVP Quilters brought her great joy, as the group created caps for premature infants and quilts for families of soldiers.

Ruby was preceded in death by an infant son in 1951 and her son, James Murle Noel, Jr., in 2016.
She is survived by: her husband, James Murle Noel; daughters Sherry (Jeff) DeHay and Carol (Eric) Vaughan; grandchildren Kristi (Adam) Roye; James III (Tara) Noel; Harrison (Ali) DeHay; Hunter DeHay; Rachel (Preston) Barnett; Zachary Vaughan; and Alexander Vaughan; and great grandchildren Abigail James Noel; Arlo Murle Roye; and Theodore Michael Noel. She is also survived by siblings Dorothy Cate Baker, Mildred Cate Parker, sister-in-law Foy Jean Cate and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 8, at Ted Dickey Funeral Home, 2128 18th St., Plano. A private graveside service for family will precede a memorial service, which will be held at 3 p.m. at First Baptist Church Plano, 1300 E. 15th St., with reception to follow at the church. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Mission: Dignity, which held a special place in Ruby's heart. This organization provides monthly income to qualified retired Southern Baptist Convention ministers, workers or their widows. Mission:Dignity; GuideStone Financial Resources SBC, 2401 Cedar Springs Rd., Dallas, TX 75201-1498