Ruby G. Eakin, 98, Vandalia

Ruby G. Eakin, 98, of Vandalia, died at 3:36 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008, at Friendship Manor in St. Elmo.

Graveside services were held at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Fairlawn Cemetery, with the Rev. Kenneth Eakin, Ruby’s grandson, officiating. There was no visitation. Hohlt & File Funeral Home in Vandalia was in charge of arrangements. Memorials: Activities Department of Friendship Manor, 221 E. Cumberland Road, St. Elmo, Ill., 62458.

Mrs. Eakin was born on Jan. 3, 1910, in Shobonier, the daughter of Shirell M. and Susie F. Brown Britton. She married Merle F. Eakin on April 20, 1926, in Belleville; he died on June 30, 1964.

She was an employee of Atkinson Dry Goods of Vandalia and Johnson, Stephens & Shinkle Shoe Factory of Vandalia, and she was affiliated with the Methodist Church.

Ruby happily gardened at the family farmstead south of Vandalia. Her vegetable garden was her pride and joy, even though she had to downsize it in later years. Her irises have now populated the landscapes of several of her children’s and nieces’ homes. She was also an excellent seamstress and was still sewing when a fall and subsequent ill health forced her to leave her home at 98. Her secrets to a long independent life were good genes, outdoor physicial activity, eating from her garden, drinking Pepsi and working crossword puzzles to keep her mind active.

She is survived by sons, Robert Eakin and his wife Billie of Warren, Pa., Ronald Eakin and his wife Connie of Vandalia, and Richard Eakin of Spencer, Ind.; daughters, Joyce Harris of Dexter, Mo., Judith and her husband Paul Baker of Mansfield; and Janice Hopwood of Lebanon, Ind.; 10 grandchildren; and 23 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; five sisters, Rachel Young, Julie Houston, Flossie Donaldson, Maude Britton and Mary Britton; brother, Floyd Britton; and two sons-in-law, Leonard R. Harris and Robert Hopwood.

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