Ruby Jewel (Robbins) Thomas
Born November 10, 1938 in Okaloosa County Florida, Ruby was the third of fifteen children of Elizabeth and Bonzie Robbins. Always independent and able she moved from the family to live in town in Crestview, while the family still lived in the country on the old homestead in Campton. She attended Carver Hill Crestview High School up to the 9th grade, started work at the local air force base where she met William Miller, an army service man while in high school and they had a baby girl in 1954, Barbara Ann (Bobbie) Robbins, as they did not get married. However, she did marry Frederick Thomas in 1956, he was also in the service. She stayed in Florida with him when the family picked up and moved to Philadelphia. The family move was with migrant workers, in a slow route picking crops from Florida to New Jersey with several stops along the way.
Ruby joined the family in Philadelphia three years later after divorcing Fred Thomas, settling in a small apartment in North Philly before moving to a duplex apartment in West Philly always not far from the family. There was a time during our first few years in Philadelphia that was a struggle for the family and Ruby was able to help by taking in some of her younger siblings while a new home was found to bring us back together on Powelton Avenue after losing a home on Summer Street. This was the second time that she had to take some of us in during hard times, the first being the time the city condemned the house (during the expansion of Temple University) we were staying in on Twelfth Street.
Always independent and industrious, in the early 60’s she opened a restaurant with a partner on Market Street. After the restaurant failed to take off, she was able to get a steady job with the US Postal Service for many years, followed by a job with the Germantown Cricket Club as a housekeeper, where she worked until she retired. She purchased a home at 7543 Woolston Ave where she welcomed anyone to stay a while if they needed. Ruby was always well organized with her house; it would remain spotless and well decorated until she could no longer manage it because of failing health. She was the second in the family to own her own home.
Ruby was always ready to help the family in any way. Her independence and self-reliance were her most prominent quality throughout her life and they enabled her to provide the support her family needed from time to time. Another good example of this is the ready use of her brand-new Silver Camaro. She would let you borrow that car for special occasions, an important date, drivers test, etc.
She is survived by her daughter, Barbara Ann (Bobbie) Robbins Thomas; 3 Grandchildren (Crystal Marie Robbins, Chanel Robbins turner and Emmanuel Robbins); 11 great grandchildren (Quadir, Amir, Sabria, Sameerah, Aleya, Shaheem, Majinay, Alise, Noah, Logan and Madison); and 7 Siblings (James Luther Robbins, Charles William Robbins, Eugene Robbins, Alphonso Robins, Oristine Robbins, Leonard Robbins and Steve Robbins); 37 nieces and nephews; and numerous great nieces and nephews as well.
She was a free and generous spirit who will be sorely missed.