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Columbia Missourian

Ruby May (Binder) Howell, 67, of Columbia, died April 9, 2012

By Submitted by Columbia Cremation Care Center
April 10, 2012 | 4:43 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Ruby May (Binder) Howell, 67, of Columbia, passed peacefully from this world on April 9, 2012. She was at home with her family. Ruby’s death comes after a recently fought battle with multiple myeloma, and nine years of suffering from the after-effects of a brain aneurysm and stroke.

Visitation will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 am Saturday at the Community of Christ Church, 1111 Fairview Rd., in Columbia.  A memorial service will follow at 1 pm. 


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Ruby was born in Leola, S.D., the third child of Rachel and Arthur Binder, who are both deceased. She is survived by her sister, Miriam Shears of Colorado, and her brother, Lavern Binder, of Missouri.  

She married Rodger Howell in 1965, and together they welcomed three children, who also survive with their families: Renee (Howell) Hulshof and husband, Kenny, of Columbia, Rhonda (Howell) Peeples and husband, Clayburn, of Trenton, Tenn., and Ryan Howell and wife, Katie, of Baltimore, Md. Ruby and Rodger were overjoyed to be blessed with 10 grandchildren, who also survive: Casey, Hanna, Grace, Margaret, Sarah, John, Maggie, Charlie, Caroline and Elizabeth.

After graduating from Plainview Academy in 1962 in Redfield, S.D., Ruby received her LPN certificate from Porter Hospital in Denver, Colo. It was there that Ruby met Rodger while he was stationed at Lowry Air Force Base. They were engaged six months and married in 1965 in a lovely chapel overlooking the Rocky Mountains. 

The family lived in Independence and Joplin, as well as Salinas, Calif. before moving to Hannibal in 1976 to be near Rodger’s family. This is the home that they and their children knew best. Ruby devoted herself to her family and was a stay-at-home mom for many years.

She returned to nursing part-time, and eventually went back to school at Hannibal LaGrange College and received her RN degree. She thrived being back in school and loved to remind her kids that she had a perfect 4.0 GPA.  She enjoyed her work as a nurse, caring for older patients especially, first at Levering Hospital, later at St. Elizabeth’s hospital, and finally at Hannibal Regional Hospital until her illness in 2003.

Ruby was a loving wife, mother, aunt, sister and friend. She was best known for her gift of music as a gifted pianist, organist and vocalist. She played often at the Community of Christ church in Hannibal, and is best remembered by her children for lively entertaining at home, playing everything from polkas and pop to classical and gospel.  

Even after the stroke took so much from Ruby, her gift of music and her love for those around her continued to bless so many, especially her grandchildren and church family at the Columbia Community of Christ Church. Her quick smile and loving heart will be missed by everyone who knew her.

Memorial contributions may be made to Outreach International, or the Multiple Myeloma Society. 

Arrangements by Columbia Cremation Care Center.