Ruby Pearl (Friend) Pearsall, age 94, passed away peacefully on February 24, 2021. She was born June 4, 1926 in Bell, Pennsylvania, the seventh of eight children to her parents (Cora and John Friend).
Ruby graduated from Somerset High School in Pennsylvania before heading to Presbyterian University Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She completed her nursing degree and passed the state board for her Registered Nurse certification in 1947 in Pittsburgh, PA. Her nursing training also included six months with the Navajo tribe in Arizona. Ruby took great pride in being a nurse and spent many years serving in hospitals, nursing homes, colleges, and even summer camps. She also taught English during her time as a missionary in other countries.
Although Ruby never planned to marry and had plans of her own to continue to serve as a nurse to the Navajo people, God had a different path for her life. After nurses training, she felt drawn to attend Eastern Nazarene College in Wollaston, Massachusetts, where she earned her bachelor’s degree. Soon thereafter, she married Kenneth H. Pearsall on July 18, 1953, and was a supportive and devoted wife and mother as Ken served as pastor, district superintendent, college president and missionary throughout their 46 years of marriage until Ken's death in 1999. Together they blessed people in their ministry across the United States, as well as in South Korea and the Republic of South Africa.
Known as "Groovy Ruby" to many people, she will be remembered for her witty and sassy sense of humor; some would even say she was delightfully irreverent. She was an avid sports and music enthusiast watching her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in competitions and performances. She was a fierce competitor herself: in her younger years playing various sports including softball and winning a state championship in her home state of Pennsylvania. In her retirement years, Ruby was often found keeping stats with pen and paper at Northwest Nazarene University athletic events (nobody dared interrupt to talk to her until a time out or half time!), and left a legacy of creating her own rules in the card game of Phase 10 with her friends and family.
Ruby loved the church and Christian higher education, often (strongly) encouraging family members to "remember who they are" and to do their best in all activities. She was the First Lady of Northwest Nazarene College serving alongside Ken as president from 1973-1983. She was known for speaking the truth, faithfully serving behind the scenes, hosting countless Sunday dinners, listening to gospel music, giving generously, and being secretly sentimental. She was strong-willed (to say the least), and was a consistent role model of what it means to be a Christ-follower. She loved strong coffee, long conversations catching up on the latest news in everyone's lives, and was true to who she was and what she believed. She was authentic, independent, determined, and opinionated. She even had a magnet on her fridge reminding the family that they were all entitled to her opinion.
Ruby raised four children (often called “the four Js”) and was wonderfully devoted to her family, that included her children: Jacqui (Andy) Satta, Judy (Dick) Gilpatrick, John Pearsall, and Joel (Nikki) Pearsall; ten grandchildren: Laura (Mike) Chisman, Kim Burruel, John “Bump” Pearsall, Julie (Tim) Barrass, Jodi (Mike) Agee, Amanda (Ryan) Bachmeyer, Jonathan Gilpatrick, Trenton “TJ” Pearsall, Chadwick (Chelsea) Pearsall, and Graydon (Kalyn) Pearsall; and, eleven great-grandchildren: Caden, Mike Jr., Joshua, Olivia, Alexandra, Krysta, Maddie, Natalie, Gabe, Reed, and Payton. Ruby has one surviving sibling, John (Virginia) Friend, of Texas.
Although she was raised in Pennsylvania, Ruby fell in love with Idaho when she and Ken arrived in 1973 and often welcomed people to "God's country.” She was a committed member of Nampa College Church of the Nazarene for 48 years, serving as greeter for many of those years, and deeply loved both Eastern Nazarene College and Northwest Nazarene University. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donating to one of the Pearsall family endowed scholarships at either Northwest Nazarene University or Eastern Nazarene College.
A public viewing and visitation will be held at Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel, 415 12th Ave S. Nampa, ID on Friday, March 5, 2021 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. A memorial service will be held at Nampa College Church (504 E. Dewey, Nampa ID) on Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. (Covid-19 protocols will be observed); in addition, the service will be live-streamed (the link will be available in the obituary on the Nampa Funeral Home website next Thursday, March 4, 2021 where an online guest book is available at www.nampafuneralhome.com).
Here is the link for the live streaming of the Celebration of Life for Ruby: https://www.facebook.com/nampaccn
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