Obituary for Ruby M. Jolliff Gehrisch

Posted on January 14, 2021

Ruby M. Jolliff Gehrisch, age 98, passed from this life on December 24, 2020, at 3:42 PM with family members at her side. Ruby was born in Arlington on December 8, 1922, to the late Addie F. Smith and Millie Weidman Smith. She married Lawrence L. “Bill” Jolliff on February 9, 1941, and they enjoyed fifty years of marriage prior to his death on April 1, 1991. She later married J. Merritt Gehrisch, and he preceded her in death on April 20, 1999.

Ruby was the second of six children and a life-long member of Good Hope Lutheran Church, Arlington. She, along with her brother, Dean, and sister, Irene, owned and operated the “Kum-On-Inn” restaurant in Arlington. Ruby later worked as a switchboard operator for the General Telephone Co. and was also employed for a time at the Johnny Appleseed Restaurant. Ruby eventually retired from Sears after twenty years as a Customer Service Manager. During her retirement, she volunteered at the Good Samaritan Nursing Home and Manor helping residents and delivering “meals on wheels.”

Always active and vibrant, Ruby enjoyed attending her grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s activities. She loved being outdoors: fishing, gardening, golfing, and taking walks were among her favorite activities.

She enjoyed traveling, too, whether with family, friends, or independently—even flying to Florida alone at age 95 to visit her daughter.  Simple things such as a good card game or round of Bingo with her friends at the Orchards of Arlington also gave her joy. Along with making the best homemade noodles ever, Ruby was known for crafting beautiful, crocheted gifts that she shared with friends and family to mark special occasions such as a birth or graduation. She was sharp, funny, practical, wise, fair, and kind.

Survivors include her three children, Jack L. Jolliff of Arlington; Keith L. (Sheila) Jolliff of Findlay; and Janet D. (Hank) Barker of Viera, FLA.

Ruby had seven grandchildren: Beth (Steve) Sachs, Brad (Hope) Jolliff, Christine (Greg) Denecker, Mark (Kristie) Jolliff, Deborah Rice, Geoff

(Susan) Barker, and Grant Barker. She was “Grandma Ruby” to eighteen

great-grandchildren: Nicholas Sachs; Ethan (Katie), Tate, and Garrett Jolliff; Gabe and Luke Denecker; Kathryn (Mitchell) Beagle, Mitchell, Kendra, Kylie, and Max Jolliff; Megan, Justin, and Evan Rice; Alex and Elizabeth Kate Barker; Alorah Barker and Willow Boes. Ruby was also a great-great grandmother to Emmett and Alaina Beagle and Addalynn Jolliff.

In addition, she is survived by her brothers Dean Smith and Eldon (Kathy) Smith.

Ruby was preceded in death by her daughter-in-law Sharon Jolliff; her sisters, Irene Snyder and Kathleen Higgins; and her brothers, Robert and Don Smith. Her dear friend and companion, Clifford C. Crosser, preceded her in death, as well.

The family would like to thank Ruby’s friends and the staff at the Orchards of Arlington, who made the final season of her life so rich and meaningful. A private service and burial will be held on Monday, January 18, 2021, with Pastor Steve Ramsey presiding. A celebration of Ruby’s life is being planned for a later date. In the words of one her favorite Bible

verses: “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice and no one will take away your joy” (John 16:22).

Memorial contributions can be made to Good Hope Lutheran Church of Arlington, the American Cancer Society, and the National Kidney Foundation. Arrangements are being handled by CRATES FUNERAL HOME, Arlington.  Online condolences may be expressed by visiting

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