Biography: Ruby Violet Bucknor was born on August 30th, 1921 to parents Charlotte Sleight and Isaac Bucknor in Westmoreland, Jamaica. She was the eldest of two daughters. Her sister Yvonne followed her 18 years later.
She married the love of her life Leslie Owen Stewart on January 28th, 1948 in Kingston, Jamaica. They were married for 58 years. Together, they raised eight children: Lincoln, Pamela, Norma, Jerome, Faye, Audrey, Bradley and Dennis.
When her husband immigrated to the United States in 1950, Ruby joined him shortly after settling in New York City in 1952 where they endeavored to make a good life for their family. When her youngest child was 14 years of age, she pursued a fulltime career in social work, working in the Home Care Division of Gouverneur Hospital on the Lower East Side.
She was eventually told that she needed a bachelor’s degree to keep her job. She was determined to keep the job she loved and immediately took up the challenge. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University in 1977 at age 56. She continued working as a hospital social worker until her she retired in her mid-seventies.
She enjoyed crocheting and blessed all her children, as well as other family members, with an abundance of scarves, socks and other handmade items as gifts. She was also an enthusiastic bingo player and enjoyed making collages and other forms of art.
After the loss of her husband, Ruby moved to a nursing facility where she quickly became a standout and favorite among staff. In true Queen Ruby fashion, she cultivated a whole new host of friends and embraced singing, her new passion. She thoroughly enjoyed the music programs and sang along to everything. Some of her favorite songs were “You Are My Sunshine”, Bob Marley’s “Don’t Worry” and “America the Beautiful.” She also enjoyed attending mass regularly.
She was pre-deceased by her sister Yvonne, her husband Leslie, her niece Carole Joy, and her eldest son, Lincoln.
Our family matriarch will be sorely missed by seven children, 13 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, and a host of other relatives and friends. A good life leaves behind many seeds that keep growing. Her stories, her values and love of family live on.