Carolyn Ina (Donald) Ruby was born in Port Townsend, Washington to Toni (Donald) Owyen and Roy Donald.
She graduated from Port Townsend High School in 1977. During her high school years she worked at A&W on Sims Way. For a time after graduation she worked for The Honorable Judge AC Grady, which inspired her to continue her education. She went on to earn her degree as a legal secretary from Capitol Business College and Pacific Lutheran University.
In 1978 Carolyn was hired at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard which was the beginning of her 35-year career for the federal government. Her job gave her the opportunity to be placed at several U.S. Navy bases including Guam where she helped train other employees. Carolyn retired in 2013 from Naval Ordinance Command in Port Hadlock.
Over the years Carolyn received many awards and commendations for going above and beyond. The most treasured was a Thank you letter from Rear Admiral CH Griffiths which thanked her for her “superb support” for her role in the activity to prepare the 50mm cannon for the opening of Deterrent Park, Naval Submarine Base Kitsap, Bangor, in 2000.
While Carolyn was an accomplished and devoted employee, at the core of her was a real life love story.
As a little girl Carolyn spent a lot of time at the Ruby household. In the teenage years the Ruby garage was a hangout for many young ‘uns! Engines were being rebuilt, KZOK was blasting from the radio and over all fun was being had. In the midst of the gang was Carolyn who was busy adoring a guy named Matt Ruby.
Matt and Carolyn dated through high school and when she wasn’t driving her super cool orange Mach l she could be found cruising Water Street, sitting close to Matt in his ‘57 Chevy or cheering him on at the Quarter Mile where the guys took their cars for some hot rodding.
Their lives eventually went on different paths as many young love stories go.
In 1994 Carolyn came back to PT to see her ailing mother and just “happened to “ run into Matt. When asked what the sweetest time was in their life together, Matt told of the day he traveled to Columbus, Ohio to gather Carolyn and her belongings to bring her back home to him where she belonged.
They were married May 27, 1994 with their mothers as their witnesses. They each brought a child into the union, Steven Melnick and Samantha Ruby. To complete their family, they were blessed with the birth of their son, Jacob Ruby. It was a happy, dream-come-true life they shared.
In 2015 they were delivered a blow that changed their lives forever. Carolyn was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Dementia. There was never a question where Carolyn would be cared for. Matt lived his life for his wife’s comfort with patience and devotion that is both touching and admirable.
On May 14, Carolyn passed away at Saint Michael’s in Silverdale, Washington.
It would be remiss not to mention Carolyn’s tried-and-true best friend, Linda Gahr-Lutz, who continues to be a Godsend to the family.
Matt would like to thank all of the medical professionals, especially the caregivers and nurses, whose paths he and Carolyn crossed. He calls them angels.
A celebration of life will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 19 at the Elks Lodge, 555 Otto St., Port Townsend, WA 98368.