O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
Ruby Jewel Williams was born in the small close-knit community of Griffithtown near Arkadelphia, Arkansas on April 23, 1944. She was born to Beasley Williams and Arilla Macon Hogan. Raised in a Christian home, she carried those values with her throughout her life. By every account, Ruby was an intelligent and gifted woman with a gentle and caring nature.
Ruby was baptized and joined New Bethel Baptist Church at an early age and served in many capacities as a young lady. She attended a rural school and was a 1961 graduate of the now historic Peake High School in Arkadelphia. She grew up to be a beautiful and intelligent young lady who excelled as a student. Setting her sights on becoming an educator, Ruby attended Henderson State University where she earned both the BS degree and MS degree in Education. Throughout her tenure as an educator, she taught at Gurdon Public Schools, Peake High School, Southwest Middle School, and Malvern Public Schools, retiring after over 41 years in the school system.
Remotely shy, Ruby warmed up to others and easily made friends. She met the handsome Doyle E. McClellan and after an appropriate time of courtship they were married on April 25, 1970. He loved Ruby dearly and showered her with an abundance of love. He was a stalwart provider, allowing Ruby to enjoy the finer things that life offered. They were inseparable and remained married for 49 years until her passing.
They started their family in Malvern, Arkansas, and to this union two children were born, Keia Doilette and Rhondon Edward. Ruby was a loving and tender mother. She taught her children to be well mannered, well dressed and clean. She provided a home of constant education at times voluntarily and involuntarily.
Ruby Jewel loved her family and would do anything for each and every one of her family members. She opened her doors to everyone who came by and would always welcome you with some sort of home-cooked meal. In the early 80s, she along with her cousins Rosetta and Willie Mae, started the Macon Family Reunion. She also played a major role in the Shandy Williams Family Reunion, hosted at the home of her nephew, William “Junebug” Owens. Over the years, both reunions have been a great success from year to year. She took pride in her family and where she was from.
She united with Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and was a self-proclaimed Baptist/Methodist at the same time. She busied herself in the church learning and studying the ordinances of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and as well as the community. She was a faithful member having served as a Y.P.D. Director, stewardess, choir member and a member of the Pride of Bethel Club. She graciously supported both of her churches financially.
Ruby took great pride in her community and participated in several civic-related organizations. She was a charter member of the Alpha Gems Social Club and a member of the Women’s Progressive Club. She enjoyed fishing, watching all sports and she would spend countless hours gardening, which gave her time to reflect and talk to God. She was recently recognized during Black History Month at Calvary C.O.G.I.C. for her outstanding contributions to the community of Hot Spring County and for her dedication as a former educator by the Peake High School Class of 1969.
On Sunday, September 8, 2019, in the comfort of her beautiful home, surrounded by family and friends she claimed victory. She was preceded in transition by her parents, Beasley Williams and Arilla Hogan; her beloved siblings, Leodis Gleason, Robert Williams and Juanita Williams.
Her irreplaceable presence will be missed by her husband of 49 years, Doyle; her daughter, Keia D. McClellan of Arkadelphia; her son, Rhondon E. McClellan and his wife, Angela, of Eastvale, CA; her grandchildren, Khalil Brownlee, Sydney McClellan and Devin McClellan; her brother, Superintendent Ray “R.L.” Williams of North Little Rock, AR; a special great-nephew, Jermaine Jefferson of Little Rock, AR; very special first cousins whom she loved dearly; the Gleason girls whom she raised and loved as daughters; her sisters-in-law, Juanita Davie of Little Rock, AR, Merriel McClellan of Chicago, IL, and Della Gleason of Malvern, AR; She also leaves a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and innumerable friends.
Public viewing will be from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Williams Funeral Home on Friday, September 13, 2019. The family will greet friends from 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at New Bethel Baptist Church in Griffithtown.
A celebration of her lived will be shared at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 14, 2019 at Bethel A.M.E. Church in Malvern, Arkansas with Minister Willie McClure, eulogist. Interment will be at Piney Grove Cemetery in Arkadelphia following the repast.
Honorary pallbearers will be the Trustees and Stewards of Bethel A.M.E. Church and the Deacons of New Bethel Baptist Church. The pallbearers will be Dustin Robinson, Jahrel Jones, Archie Thomas, Early Hale, Jr., Paul Bailey, Jr., and Derrick Ollison.