When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up in Eureka, South Dakota, Ruby didn’t know what to say. She loved reading, writing, music, photography, athletics, the outdoors, and art, but couldn’t figure out how to make a living at any of them. She knew for sure that she didn’t want to teach. Ruby obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in German and Geography (she still hadn’t figured out a specialty) from South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota.
After a short stint as a cartographer for the Defense Mapping Agency in St. Louis, Missouri, she returned to South Dakota to get married and start a family. After the birth of two boys Ruby did the best she could at parenting, the job that she feels is the most important in today’s world. She went back to work part-time at her alma mater in 1994 and held various positions in the Physical Plant, Plant Science, and Rural Sociology departments. In 2001 she landed a job at the university library as a government documents technician and worked her way up (literally and figuratively) to her current position as an archivist in the SDSU Archives & Special Collections Department on the upper level of the Hilton M. Briggs Library.
Ruby is also very active in her church, the Brookings United Church of Christ. She has served as church secretary, as an officer and member of the BUCC Church Council, and as the secretary of the Sioux Central Association of the South Dakota Conference of the United Church of Christ. She was on the organizing and planning teams for the annual Empty Bowls event, Brookings Backpack Project, and Brookings Community Open Microphone Series.
In her spare time Ruby began a free-lance writing career and is co-editor of Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems, forthcoming from Grayson Books in late summer, 2017. She has also published three poetry chapbooks: Campus Sketches: Images of South Dakota State University in Word and Photograph (2012), At the Rim of the Horizon (Finishing Line Press, 2014), and Maybe the Moon is Falling, one of four winners of the 2014 South Dakota State Poetry Society chapbook competition. Ruby’s poetry and prose have been published in journals and anthologies such as New Letters, Peril and Promise: Essays on Community and Beyond, Crazy Woman Creek, and other publications. Her work has also appeared in P3 (Painters, Poets & Pavilion) invitational exhibits at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Ruby can often be seen prowling around with a camera around her neck and has exhibited her photography in exhibits at the Center for Western Studies and the South Dakota State Fair. Her photos have been published in South Dakota Magazine, South Dakota Photographed (2005), and Campus Sketches, her first published collection. She lives on a small acreage in rural Brookings County with her husband Jim.