Ruby Queen Leonard Ledford, age 100, of Erwin, went to be with her precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Thursday, June 08, 2023. She was born in Erwin, Tennessee on March 12, 1923, to the late John M. Leonard and Bashie Bailey Leonard.
Ruby began her working career at Stein-Way Clothing Company as a Seamstress in 1939 at the age 16. She married her husband, Dorsie Ledford in 1940. Ruby became a self-employed businesswoman in 1950. She was an exquisite seamstress. Ruby made beautiful dresses, jackets, skirts, blouses, wedding dresses, curtains, dance costumes, Halloween costumes, church play costumes, children’s clothing, doll clothing, as well as men’s suits. Ruby made the Unicoi County High School cheerleading uniforms and the band uniforms throughout the late 70’s and during the 80’s. Also, Ruby was very talented at crocheting. Ruby could sew anything, and she did so with great precision. You knew you were holding an exceptionally well-crafted garment when you looked at the tag which Ruby so lovingly sewed into her clothing: Hand Made by Ruby Ledford or Specially made for you by Ruby Ledford. Milan, Italy had Versace, Paris, France had Oscar de la Renta but, Erwin, Tennessee had the most precious jewel in fashion design, Ruby Ledford!
She also worked alongside her husband Dorsie in Ledford’s Grocery while being a self-employed seamstress. They closed the store in 1967. Ruby had a strong work ethic and she worked hard with a smile on her face. She loved to joke around and share funny stories with others.
Ruby faithfully attended Southside Freewill Baptist Church for over thirty-five years. She was very active in the Senior Sunday School Class and Ladies Auxiliary. Ruby loved to sing at church and she had a beautiful voice. Prior to attending Southside, Ruby attended First Freewill Baptist Church (currently Evergreen Freewill Baptist Church) for many years with her husband and children. Ruby was a faithful servant of the Lord, and she loved God with all her heart. She was the epitome of the Proverbs 31 woman.
Ruby and her husband had special CB handles, “Needle Fingers” of course was Ruby’s handle, and “Antique Trader” was Dorsie’s handle. After Ruby’s husband passed away, she traveled all over the USA with her wonderful friend, Margie Tilson. Ruby Ledford was one of a kind and she will be dearly missed by her family and everyone who knew her.
In addition to her parents, Ruby was preceded in death by her husband of forty-three years, Dorsie Ledford on November 12, 1983; her son, Lattie Lynn Ledford on September 12, 2022; granddaughter, Veronica Ledford; two brothers: Lawrence T. Leonard and Ralph Leonard; one sister, Mildred Hughes.
Ruby leaves behind to cherish many precious memories, her son, Conway Ledford (Linda) of Myrtle Beach, SC; three grandchildren: Amos Ledford (Pam), whom Ruby lived with for the past three years, Heather Obatusin (Tai) of Rio Rancho, NM and Adam Ledford (Brooke) of Johnson City; seven great grandchildren: Megan Ledford Howard (Adam), Matthew Ledford, Marcus Doyal, Nicole Doyal, Samuel Obatusin, Summer Ledford and Lucy Ledford; six great-great grandchildren: McKinnley Howard, Elijah Howard, Gabriel Howard, Levi Howard, Sammuel Howard and Kalee Howard; daughter-in-law, Wanda Ledford; nephew, Richard Hughes; a host of friends also survive.
The Ledford family will receive friends from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, at Southside Freewill Baptist Church. Ruby’s funeral service will begin at 7:00 p.m. with her great grandson-in-law, Reverend Adam Howard and Reverend Charlie Trivette officiating. Southside Freewill Baptist Church Choir will sing Ruby’s favorite songs. Her committal will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday in the Evergreen Cemetery. Active pallbearers will be Amos Ledford, Wayne Bailey, Terry Williams, Bobby Ramsey, Reverend Brian Campbell, and Reverend Joey Murdock. Honorary pallbearers will be Clyde Griffith, Scott Fowler, Stanley Edwards, and Gary Phillips. Those wishing to attend Ruby’s committal service are asked to assemble at the cemetery by 10:50 a.m. on Wednesday.
Online condolences, photos and memories may be shared with the Ledford family at www.ledfordfuneralhomes.com
Robert Ledford Funeral Home, 720 Ohio Avenue, Erwin, is privileged to serve the Ledford family. (423) 743-1380.