Here is a copy of the biography of my mother that I sent to the social director at Good Samaritan Home, to use for her 100th birthday celebration:

A Biography of Ruby McDonald

She was born Ruby Jayne Allen, in Fox, Oregon, on Nov. 1, 1899, to Jim and India Allen, who were both pioneers. Her father was the postmaster there and built the first store in that town, in 1895. The building is still being used today, as the Fox Store. They lived what might seem a primitive life today, but she tells of the many rich experiences that she treasures from that time, that we today can only know through history.

They moved to Salem in 1909 and she graduated from Salem H.S. in 1919. She also graduated from nurse's training in 1927, at Pacific Christian Hospital in Eugene, which is now Sacred Heart Hospital.

She worked as a nurse for a local surgeon, for 11 years. He developed severe arthritis in his hands and from then on, she performed all his surgical work, as he looked on. During WW II, she ran a medical clinic at Coburg for farm workers and had to perform all the duties of a doctor, including emergency field surgery.

In 1947, she was one of the founding members of the Eugene Weavers Guild and became a master weaver. She won many top prizes for her weaving at the Lane County and Oregon State Fairs. Her biggest enjoyment was in teaching many younger weavers her secrets and in helping them obtain and set up their equipment. She was also a skilled artist and a potter and designed and helped build her own home, doing all the cabinet work and painting.

She and her late husband, Jack, always maintained a large garden and orchard and shared the produce and flowers with many friends and neighbors. She and her family kept a large collection of wild waterfowl and other birds on their farm and she frequently would give guided tours to classes of schoolchildren. The large flocks of Canada Geese that now live wild in this area are descendants of the birds they kept for many years in the Norkenzie neighborhood. Often, some of these geese can be seen and heard flying over her current residence. It has always been a thrill for her to listen at her window, as they come by, calling loudly.

In just a few months, she will have lived in 12 different decades, 3 centuries and 2 millenia. Most of her oldest friends are now gone, but she has many new friends and admirers to carry on.

She and Jack McDonald were married in Eugene, in 1933. He passed away in 1977. They had a son, Steve, who lives in the local area. Her step-daughter, Jean Henricksen, passed away in 1997.

Steve McDonald

This page was designed by Bonnie Bronleewe
Last update - July 2, 2003