Rubye Lee Ferguson Williams, Grambling Grad and former secretary for Earl Lester Cole, dean of Grambling College Department of Education was funeralized Saturday, Dec.4 in Detroit.It has been said that great men and women are remembered for their contributions and participation with life changing or situational enhancing experiences. Notable acts worthy of legacy status include: encouragement to the down-hearted, assistance to those in need, spiritual mentoring, scholastic advancement and achievement, and outstanding character and demeanor.
Distinguishing traits that determine individual greatness were abundantly identified in the life of Ruby Lee Ferguson Williams.
The legacy began on Wednesday, April 3, 1935 in the small picturesque town of Marion, Louisiana. A beautiful baby girl burst on the scene; aptly called Rubye Lee Ferguson, a name chosen by her faithful parents Bessie Smedley Ferguson and Leon Ferguson.
She was the fourth of nine children in the Ferguson clan where she blossomed into an interesting and precocious young lady, often choosing to steal away by herself to read books rather than play with her brothers and sisters.
Rubye’s academic excellence was reflected when she graduated from Marion Industrial High School as salutatorian. She matriculated at Grambling State College where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1958.
After graduation from Grambling, Rubye was employed at her beloved Alma Mater as secretary for the dean of the college of education. Dean Earl Lester Cole was amazed with her secretarial proficiency and work ethic effectiveness.
During her tenure at Grambling, Rubye met and married Willie Richard of Marion, Louisiana. To this union, three children were born: Sheryl Lynn, Kathy Dianne and Benny Leon.
Rubye and Willie migrated to Detroit, Michigan after hearing about better opportunities for employment and success. She was hired at Western International High School to teach business courses. Mrs. Richard, as she was fondly known to the students, continued her education earning a Masters’ Degree in Education from Wayne State University. Shortly thereafter attaining her master’s degree, Rubye was selected to be the Co-op Coordinator assisting students in securing suitable employment. After thirty years in the educational system, Rubye retired.
Church affiliation included membership with her family church, the New Testament Church of God in Marion. Rubye served faithfully under the pastorate of the late Bishop F. E. Smedley, her uncle. Rubye’s spiritual growth soared when her move to Detroit occurred.
Mother Fleeda Mae Wasson, Rubye’s favorite aunt, was instrumental in her spiritual maturity and Christian walk. She accepted an invitation to attend church with her aunt at International Gospel Center in Ecorse, MichiganIt was at this church, under the dynamic leadership of the late Apostle Charles O Miles, that Rubye waxed strong in the Lord; first as the church secretary, next as an Evangelist, then as a Prayer Warrior. Her time as a faithful servant of God as a Prayer Warrior was most precious in that she met and married her beloved Elder Curtis Williams, Jr.