On October 25, 2021, Ruby Allason Layne departed to be held by the hands of our Lord. She was born on June 29, 1935, 86 years old. She was predeceased by her husband, William F. Layne and her son, Erven F. Layne, her parents Howard and Carrie Benfield and multiple siblings.
She is survived by her sons Charles Layne, Ricky Layne (Evette) and Tony Layne (Cressandra); Her daughters Betty Faulkner, Gloria Atkins (Mike) and Tammy Smith (Alan); Her cherished grandchildren , Gregg, Landon, Matthew, Nathanial, Alexandra, Michael (Greta), Corey (Summer), Vicki (William), Ryan (Tiffany), Shawn, Michael, Tony Jr., Lindsey (Luke), Logan, Sheridan, Brady, Christopher, Brandon (Jennifer), Alison (Austin). Her beloved great-grandchildren Landon, Mason, Molly, Corey, Gabriel, Kason, Jordan, Noah, Wyatt, Claire, Madison, Dean and Emry, Isabella and Eric. She is also survived by one brother Hubert Benfield (Nancy).
Ruby was born in the height of the depression to tobacco sharecroppers in Charlotte County, Virginia. Her Cherokee father taught her to respect the land. Her mother taught her life skills to raise a family and keep a home. She led a humble life and these lessons prepared her for what was to come.
Since her mother taught her to sew she used that skill to provide for her family, working in a sewing factory. She would sew clothes for her 7 children or upholster the family furniture and matching curtains. She later worked for AT&T inspecting circuit boards and while she had no technology expertise, she thrived at that job until she retired.
She taught her children to go outside and play, stand up for themselves and if they started a fight they better be able to finish it. She believed in fairness, helping others and most of all that family came first. She would put you in your place and then ask you what you wanted to eat.
She was an amazing cook, never measured because there was no need. She was famous for her “Nanny breakfasts” because they were simply the best! You didn’t have to be her grandchild to call her Nanny, she was everyone’s Nanny.
There are enough stories to fill a library and that would only be a tiny glimpse into the life of a remarkable woman. She was loving, caring, strong and strict when necessary. Her home was a revolving door of her children and grandchildren, her favorite hobby was calling her kids to check on them. She loved birds, the colors green and pink, playing solitaire on the computer, red eye gravy over tomatoes and roses. She put love into everything she did. If someone was in need, she provided. If someone was hungry, she fed them. If someone was struggling, she supported them. She could work circles around most people and still make sure the dishes were done after supper. No matter how hard life became, she remained a force of nature.
To say she will be missed is far too simple for such an amazing woman. As so many hearts are broken, there will always be that little piece that disappeared the day she left us to be with God. There are no words to express the emptiness we all feel but we know she is watching us and shining her light from Heaven.
She was mama, she was Nanny, she was Ruby, she was Ms. Layne, she was exactly what we all needed and she will forever be loved and missed.
Services will be held Saturday, November 6 at 11 a.m. at Morrissett Funeral Home, 6500 Iron Bridge Road, Richmond, VA 23234 (morrissett.com). Visitation will be held Friday, November 5, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Interment will be at Dale Memorial Cemetery immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers the family asks for donations to Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org, or mail to Alzheimer’s Association 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601, in Ruby’s name.