Tribute by Dean Spychalla, Managing Director of Valentine’s Resort & Marina and President of the Out Islands Promotion Board.
My name is Dean Spychalla and I am a friend of Ma Ruby and her family. I’m honored to take a moment and tell you about the impact I know Ma Ruby has had on me and on our community. I certainly know her to have been an incredible mother to her children but as importantly, a real mother to many others on Harbour Island. Her life should be celebrated and remembered as one filled with laughter and love. You may never meet a more loving woman than Ma Ruby. I celebrate her life with you today.
Each and every time I walked in to Tingum Village, and that has been many times over the past four years, Ma Ruby was there to greet me. She made me feel special. To be honest, she made each and every person that walked into the hotel feel special. Ma Ruby’s spirit was always positive and Ma always welcomed her guests upon arrival. Upon leaving Ma wished them a safe journey home and always invited them to come back. Ma Ruby was Harbour Islands’ Vernal Sands, a TRU-TRU Bahamian Resort Ambassador.
Happiness was a big theme throughout Ma Ruby’s life. Tingum Village was always buzzing with activity, and even in the midst of the chaos, Ma would just smile. No matter what was going on, and no matter how busy things got, Ma Ruby was always ready to give big hugs – the type of hugs where you felt like you were the only one in the world. She had an extraordinary ability to give love.
Two weeks before Ma Ruby passed away I had the honour to take her in my golf cart to the Anglican Church. I offered to walk her in but she was adamant that she could make it in under her own power and she meant it. Ma was willful at times! Well, Ma Ruby went to three church services that day as that was her favorite activity on Sundays. I am not her son and I am not related to Ma Ruby but, Ma Ruby sure made me feel as if I could have been! I will miss her.
May “Ma” Ruby, rest in peace.