McInnis & Holloway
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McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes
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RUBEN, Grace McDonald

1920 – 2017

No words on paper, no chronology of birth, marriage, progeny, or accomplishments can convey the essence of a woman such as Grace Ruben. If you never knew Grace, that is unfortunate. She would have greeted you with kindness, warmth, and graciousness. You would have loved her just as we do, the ones lucky enough to have known her. Who could not love someone who always put others before herself, never lost a sense of gratitude, and never complained, no matter how physically difficult the final years.

Grace grew up in depression era Utah, forgoing a college education so that she could work and help support her family, including the siblings that she adored – her older brother Jack, and younger sisters Jeanne and Colleen.

In the whirlwind of WWII, she left Utah for San Francisco. There she met a young navy officer, Bob Ruben, at the Treasure Island naval base where she worked. He commanded a landing ship about to leave for the Pacific front. In two weeks they were married, in four weeks he left for war, for a life time they loved and built a family.

After her three children, Pam, Peter, and Rob, were raised and gone, Grace opened a store called Presenting Italy with no prior retail experience. It was a third floor walk-up apartment. What should have been a commercial disaster, became a success. It was partly due to Grace’s natural fashion sense, but mostly attributable to Grace’s own character. Customers came because Grace, by nature, tried to make others feel good about themselves.

Grace was granted both beauty and intellect, but for all her gifts, she remained truly humble and kind. She felt the greatest honour she ever earned was the title bestowed upon her by her beloved young grandchildren: Good Grace Grandmother.

Later in life, Grace began a relationship with her daughter-in-law, Connie. It would blossom into a remarkable bond. It was a tale of mutual love, support, and commitment that deepened as they worked through the cruelly relentless stages of Grace’s Alzheimer’s.

Grace’s approach to life was painfully simple – be good to all, whether family, friend, or stranger. Goodness sounds trite but a life lived simply, but well, can inspire others. Grace had three children, nine grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. She will always be in our hearts and our memories and will always serve as an example of the type of person we strive to be.

A Private Family Service will be held at a later date. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.

In living memory of Grace Ruben a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Park Memorial, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Stephen & Nancy McDonald :

    We loved our aunt Grace and her family. It was always a thrill to have them visit Salt Lake City as I was growing up. Dad loved his sister Grace and always spoke so kindly of her. All of the McDonald family will miss her. We are confident that Dad and Grace are having a wonderful time together with Grandfather and Grandmother right now. We send the Ruben family our love.

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  2. Dearest Connie and Peter – everyone on the dock is thinking of you at this sad time – we all loved Grace and know how much she meant to you. I love that a tree will be planted in her honor at the local park. I think she would love that. My deepest sympathies to you at this time- much love/ Diana (20 south 40)

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  3. On behalf of the Finn family, I offer our since condolences. Your mother was a very gracious lady.

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  4. Sue McDonald Oldroyd :

    Aunt Grace was always like a celebrity/movie star to me but she made me feel like she was my greatest fan! She was so beautiful but was never conscious of it. Whenever she visited us there was so much excitement in our home. Our father, Jack, (her big brother) loved her so much. When I visited her in Laguna Hills she made me feel so special. She leaves a great legacy and a lot of people who have loved her.

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  5. Diana Mathew (Brown) :

    Grace was a very beautiful person inside and out. I lived across from her in Rideau Towers for many years and shared many cocktails and laughs with her and Bob….my cat Zoe entertained them with their open door policy.
    Grace was a support to me when I moved in with them for a short time .
    She will always be thought of with fondness and love, I am most fortunate to have been able to know her and spend time with her
    My heart goes out to the family for she will be missed by all

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  6. To have Grace as your big sister was to be cared for, loved, guided, and to have such a role model for life. Colleen and I always knew we were truly blessed.

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  7. My deepest condolences to your family on the passing of Grace, I saw her weekly when she came to the salon with Elvie. She made my day just that much better, she was always smiling as she held my hand and said how wonderful things were and how happy happy she was … She will be missed greatly.

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  8. Our deepest condolences to your family. Grace and Bob were dear friends of Frances and Ed so we were privileged to know them and have them for dinners at our home in Britannia. Such a gracious and lovely lady! I have many fond memories. Donna, Grady and Erin Galvin

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  9. Dorothy Keddington :

    Dear Cousins Pam, Peter, and Rob and your families: I was so saddened to hear of my dear Aunt’s passing, but know that she is now surrounded by so many loved ones who have gone before her. I loved her dearly and I love all of you.
    With love and prayers, Dorothy McDonald Keddington

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  10. I was introduced to Grace by Peter and Connie. At our first and brief
    meeting, I remember —- that I have never been greeted with such
    warmth, charm, style and elegance as I have by Grace.
    She left a lasting impression on me.
    My deepest Sympathy to Connie, Peter and Family.
    The world lost a dignified, beautiful, refined and genteel Lady.
    I will miss her to Renee

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  11. Heather Templeton :

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Grace was a very special lady and I was blessed to have known her. You are all in my heart and prayers.

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