ForeverMissed
Tributes
This tribute was added by Randi Kawakita on August 3, 2020
Ruby, what a perfect name for our dear friend with such a vibrant personality!
What is the spiritual meaning of this precious gemstone, a ruby? It is a source of divine creativity, a symbol of good fortune, pure love, and fierce loyalty. A ruby is one of the most powerful jewels and brings energy into our lives.

I first met Ruby four decades ago at a cooking class. We were both very interested in our respective last names. It would be years later when we began to bond over our love and interest in Japanese culture, language, food, and movies. The four of us had the best times at the original Bamboo Garden and other Asian restaurants. With Ruby every occasion was like an instant party full of fun, uproarious laughter, teasing, and debates.

In 2004 Ruby and Bob attended the International Rotary Conference in Osaka, Japan. They stayed on after the conference and asked Tsune to be their interpreter and tour guide. It was a life changing trip for the three of them.

Ruby and Bob had many adventures. Ruby was a news junkie watching the PBS news on Delta Public Television. She decided that they were going to be present at the epoch inauguration of President Barak Obama.

Then there was the weekend trip to NYC to see the off-Broadway show, "Allegiance" starring George Takei. Of course, they went back stage to compare notes with him after the performance. All three of them had been interned in Japanese-American camps during World War II as children. I am sure when George Takei returned home, he informed all his friends in California. "Guess who I met from Midland, Michigan, Ruby and Bob Iwamasa!"

I am eternally grateful to Ruby for coming to Jefferson Middle School to talk to HJ Smith's and my eighth grade students for an annual event called Diversity Day. She shared her personal experiences as a child with her family of internment at Poston, one of the camps. Ruby brought the very trunk her parents had taken to camp to the classroom. She took out actual items from this trunk. There was the wall hanging of a carved American eagle draped by the US flag. The patriotic carving was made by Bob's mother while interned in camp. The students immediately understood the irony and injustice of that situation. When Ruby took out a reddish, velveteen jacket with a Peter Pan collar, everyone knew this had been her jacket. She opened it up and we read her name sewed inside, Ruby Teruko Shiotani. She was able to share with the students and the volunteer parents that the camps were an aberration of American ideals and should never happen again.

Ruby was a precious gem! She was a dear friend, woman of valor, and a social justice warrior.

Ruby by Tsune Kawakita

I feel that I became very close to Ruby and Bob in 2004. Before that, neither had visited Japan despite their Japanese sounding family names. The primary purpose of their first visit to Japan was for Ruby to represent her Rotary district at the Rotary International Convention in Osaka, Japan. Both Ruby and Bob wanted to take advantage of being there to find their roots. That is how I got involved. I suppose they trusted me for English-Japanese interpretation. Ruby, after finishing her official duties at the Rotary Convention, seemed to fully enjoy the second half of her visit to the western part of Japan where both Ruby and Bob's Japanese relatives lived. Since I always acted as an interface between them and their Japanese relatives, I became like their family member. In return, I had them become part of the Kawakita family by hosting them at my parents' home in Tokyo.

We all miss beautiful Ruby! Our deepest condolences to the Iwamasa families.

This tribute was added by Robin Chan on July 28, 2020
I enjoyed seeing the pictures - from going to Cali not long ago, meeting George Takei, and even back to the camps. Auntie lived a long life filled with lots of joyful moments. Sending our love & support at this tough time. Love, RC and family
This tribute was added by Etta MacDonagh on July 28, 2020
Ruby brought light and goodness into this world. She lived her life with a spirit of graciousness, generosity, and good humor. While Jon and I lived in Midland, we first met Bob and Ruby, in the late 1970’s when our sons, Matt and Andy were kindergarten friends at Woodcrest. We lived around the corner from them, and Matt and Andy hung out together through those years. This past week, our son Matt reminded me how often Andy and he would be runners - “little helpers” at the Delta fundraisers. Ruby had a way of inviting and enlisting everyone in the “cause”.  I still recall one of my first impressions when I met Ruby …”this is one incredible creative women who is fully engaged in making this world a better place”.  She developed her gifts and talents and natural flair for leadership to serve and help others. Also, I so loved how Ruby took an interest in each person she met. She had a way of encouraging others on their own journey. Her love for Bob and her family shone through.…. May her memory and the celebration of her life sustain her loved ones during these days and the days ahead. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Love and blessing, Etta and Jon
This tribute was added by Barbara Tedrow on July 28, 2020
Ruby was a leader who did color outside the lines. I have Ruby to thank for a friendship that lasted my work years in the Tri-Cities and then leaving Midland. Besides being a trusted Delta friend during the many Global Awareness Weeks, Ruby traveled to Decatur GA to introduce me to the Rotary club. Her talk helped me enter my new community, which I came to love. Yes it was her calm accepting way with people that made her special. Her family and all of her friends were fortunate to have her in their lives. Rest in peace, dear Ruby.
This tribute was added by Robby Segal on July 28, 2020
Sending my love to the Iwamasa family... as a dear friend of Kenny Iwamasa, I must say that Ruby was a remarkable mother. Kenny is a magnificent son and truest of friends; and Kenny definitely 'makes his own coloring books' in all the beautiful and creative ways... love, love, love... eo, robby & Karla
This tribute was added by Stuart Barbier on July 28, 2020
We send our deepest-felt condolences to the Iwamasa family on the loss of Ruby. Over these many years, I have fond memories of her tremendous kindness. When I think of her, I see her smile and can't help but smile myself.
This tribute was added by Charlie 'Har' Shiotani on July 28, 2020
Thank you, Michigan. Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, it gets me every time. One person
matched, just so, with another - massive illumination. That is how I think of
Bob and Ruby. We would receive greetings from Wherenow?! but they would
always find the time to upend family and friends here in California too.
Love you, Rube. Bob, Look up in the sky! 
This tribute was added by Eileen Jennings on July 27, 2020
What can I say about Ruby that hasn’t already been said? Her presence lit any room or gathering. She was positive and optimistic, no matter the troubles she faced and had faced. She was a pioneer in women's leadership of Rotary and opened the doors for the rest of us. For me, her love affair with Bob was something that always warmed my heart. They were a team that supported each other – always. May you have peace, Ruby, and may the caring of everyone support you, Bob, through this hard time.
This tribute was added by Jeff Leipprandt on July 27, 2020
Ruby was such a beautiful soul and both Kim and I are truly blessed and grateful to have counted her as a friend. As younger Rotarians, Ruby took interest in us and ALWAYS sought us out at Rotary functions to say hello and to ask how we were. In fact, she is one of the reasons that Kim and I would attend our annual District Conference year after year. She made us feel special. She planted seeds of leadership in me and watered frequently. Now I'm set to serve our District as Governor in 2021-2022 following the path that Ruby had set before us. Rest in peace friend.
This tribute was added by Arletta French on July 27, 2020
George Saito and I only met Ruby late in life in relation to the common Japanese American heritage We are honored for having known her and our hearts and sympathy go out her her family.
This tribute was added by Jenee Velasquez on July 27, 2020
Ruby, RUby, RUBY! Thank you for making the world a kinder place. Your warm welcome and ability to connect with everyone created a sense of belonging at Rotary, at Delta College, and in our community. Your stories kept us mesmerized... bringing a real lion to a Delta College event, growing up in a difficult time for our country, etc. You believed in us more than we believed in ourselves. You made use (and re-use) of everything around you. I cherish the scraps of gift wrap you transformed into cranes. We love and miss you my friend.
This tribute was added by Michael Kelly on July 27, 2020
Ruby was such an inspiration to all who knew her! As Rotary District Governor she shared her enthusiasm, excitement and contagious passion for "Service above Self".  I was blessed to know her and will always think of Ruby as an inspiration about Rotary and life! Bob was always so helpful and loving to Ruby and supported her so well in all her work. I didn't know until now that we shared the month and day of our birth - February 24.  Rest in Peace Ruby !

Mike Kelly (Past District Governor - 2015/2016)
This tribute was added by Carol Feider on July 27, 2020
I joined Rotary back in the days when there weren't that many women in the club and I wondered if I would fit in. I especially wondered if I would ever be brave enough to stand in front of the group and give my vocational speech. I confided in Ruby and she worked her magic and arranged for my speech to be "postponed." I relaxed and started enjoying the club and getting more involved and I'm still a member. Thanks to Ruby, my Rotary angel.
This tribute was added by Louise Coe on July 27, 2020
I was privileged to know Ruby as friend and mentor through Rotary. Her enthusiasm and interpersonal skill were the hallmarks of her leadership. She will be missed but her legacy lives on in the lives of all who knew her.  We had so much fun in Rotary with Ruby and Bob. 
Dalton Coe (Past District Govenor ) and Louise Coe 
This tribute was added by Margot Haynes on July 27, 2020
Always kind, volunteering so much (Global Awareness programs), quietly engaged, never a negative word!
This tribute was added by Tom Garnett on July 27, 2020
My condolences and sympathy go out to Ruby’s husband Bob and to all her family. I worked with Ruby for a lot of years and considered her to be more than my boss, but a good friend. Ruby always seemed to have a smile on her face and I believe had the respect of everyone that knew her. She was truly a great lady. I am happy that I had the privilege of knowing her.
This tribute was added by Bonnie McManus on July 26, 2020
When I moved to Midland in 1986, one of the first people I met was Ruby. Her smile, positivity and welcoming attitude was so appreciated by everyone with whom she was connected. She will be missed and warmly remembered.
This tribute was added by Tom Caylor on July 26, 2020
Losing Ruby is a huge loss to all of us who loved here dearly. She made a significant impact on my life. I look forward to seeing that beautiful smile again someday.
This tribute was added by Sally Arman on July 26, 2020
Such a wonderful smile! Such an open and welcoming heart! I always felt comfortable when my jr high aged son was at the Iwamasa home. Ruby was a terrific mom and even tho she showed professionalism in everything she did, those “mom” qualities were the underpinnings that made everyone love her and want to work with her.  ----  I returned to Midland in 2010 for a memorial for my husband Hal who worked with Ruby both at Delta and in Rotary. After a long day of being social, I was surprised when the motel clerk called my room to say a package had been left at the front desk. Sweet Ruby had been unobtrusively taking pictures all day and had put everything on a CD for me. I have viewed it many times with such delight. How typically thoughtful of Ruby to know I would want those memories and to have put everything together so promptly. She was a SPECIAL lady who will definitely be missed!
This tribute was added by Pam Harkema on July 26, 2020
A mentor and friend, the most delightful smile and laugh. Ruby uplifted everyone she met. Her impact on my life remains with me.
This tribute was added by Oliver Jenkins on July 26, 2020
The brightest lights shine on forever.
Ruby certainly was one of the brightest...
This tribute was added by Chrissy Smith on July 26, 2020
I always felt I "knew" Ruby from seeing her so often on Delta's PBS station. So when I started working at Delta in the early 90s and Ruby walked past my office in the lower level, it felt like a TV star was passing.  She was always smiling and would say "Hi" to me as if she'd known me for years!  What a remarkable star for Delta College! I loved every minute I spent with her. Bless you, Ruby!
This tribute was added by Amanda Oster on July 26, 2020
I was only blessed to physically meet Ruby once. I joined Midland Rotary in 2015 and Ruby was always spoken of with great respect and admiration. I saw her and Bob at a few meetings but there was always a lengthy line to get to speak to them. Smiles lit up on everyone’s faces each time they came to a meeting. It was clear to me that Ruby was a Rotarian Legend, Hero and mentor to many. I got to physically meet Ruby when I attended a Star Wars event at her sons comic book shop. She and Bob both were there to support their son, even if Ruby had to sit down most of the time. I smiled when I saw her and before I knew it I was at her side saying “You’re Ruby!”. She laughed and said yes I am! I introduced myself and explained that we were in the same Rotary club. It was a short conversation as the event was starting but I was so happy to finally meet her. She was so kind and just had this positive glowing energy about her. The stories of Bob and Ruby will forever be shared among Midland Rotarians and Ruby will never be forgotten. A true Midland Rotarian Legend. Lifting the family up in prayer during this difficult time
This tribute was added by Mark Li on July 26, 2020
In the few moments I had the pleasure of getting to know Ruby, she exuded a positive energy that shone via her vibrant personality. Usually first interactions are a bit awkward or uneasy, but her confidence and positivity made all our interactions feel natural and welcoming. I was a pleasure to meet you and I'm sad I couldn't learn more from the vibrance you shone with.
This tribute was added by Jack Crowell on July 26, 2020
I want to believe Mr. Rogers words--"The connections we make in the course of a life--maybe that's what Heaven is"---were made soon after meeting Ruby. Those of us whose lives she touched, well, we were lucky, we got a sneak preview of what Heaven is. Thanks Ruby. We Love You.
Anita and Jack Crowell
This tribute was added by Peter Boyse on July 26, 2020
Ruby was such and friendly positive person. She was a wonderful asset to Delta College and especially the Broadcasting Department. She will be missed by many, many people.
This tribute was added by Beth Arman on July 26, 2020
My condolences to the Iwamasa family. Ruby Iwamasa was an absolute legend and a good friend to our family. She will be missed but not forgotten.
This tribute was added by David Smith on July 26, 2020
Our memories of Ruby are so many it is hard to isolate on any one or two. Each of us have our singular memories plus those we both share. Bob, our thoughts are with you and your family in this most difficult time. Cherish all of your wonderful memories and we will too. Dave and Linda Smith
This tribute was added by Dave Arman on July 26, 2020
I've known Ruby almost my entire life. She and my father worked together at Delta. Andy and I have been friends forever. There has never been a time when Ruby didn't go out of her way to make certain that I felt special. Whether it was putting me on TV for the Delta Broadcasting telethon, or getting me little gifts from various PBS shows I like, or even at Andy's wedding when she made a big production out of how happy she was that I could attend. The world has truly lost someone amazing. I know how much I will miss her, and can't imagine the loss for the entire Iwamasa family. 
This tribute was added by Melissa Barnard on July 26, 2020
I will always remember Ruby for her friendship and smile. She made everyone feel welcomed, including this member when I was new to Rotary. Thank you, Ruby, for your service that will continue to inspire us. May fond memories comfort Bob and family. Melissa Barnard
This tribute was added by Murlene McKinnon on July 26, 2020
Vibrant, compassionate and caring. A wonderful gift to Delta College. Ruby was one of those wonderful pioneers that made Delta such a great place to serve. Because of her I have always been committed to Delta Broadcasting.
God speed Ruby.
This tribute was added by Irene Roche on July 26, 2020
Ruby always wanted to present at the most current of events. I remember she insisted on seeing Barak Obama's inauguration in the freezing cold. She had to see War Horse and Lion King on Broadway even though they forecast a hurricane. She managed to see them before they closed down Broadway. She told us about the time she went to an international Rotary Club meeting in Switzerland and the room was full of cigar smoking men. They had never had a female present at any of their meetings before. She was one of a kind and I will miss her ever present smile and positive attitude.
This tribute was added by Steve-Deb Dewey on July 26, 2020
Even in this dark time, that completely takes your breath away, and makes you still, I can feel her spirit, hear her laugh and see her smile. Some lights are so powerful, they can never be extinguished. You are forever loved Aunt Ruby and never forgotten ♥️
This tribute was added by Dick Dolinski on July 26, 2020
I had the privilege and honor to co-host dozens of Delta College Radio and TV fund raising Pledge Drives with Ruby. She was the anchor for these drives for many years owing to her enthusiasm, sense of humor, and her passion for Delta and its public broadcasting program. Ruby also was our Rotary Club’s much beloved leader and later shared her energy and commitment to “Service above Self” as our Rotary District Governor. The group chant of “Roo-by, Roo-by,...” always greeted her arrival as a sign of the audience’s heartfelt and warm celebration of the affection we all have for her. Donna and I extend our genuine sympathy to Bob, Ruby’s family, to our entire community on the passing of this remarkable woman. She will truly be missed by all of us.
This tribute was added by Ron Beacom on July 26, 2020
Very sorry for your loss, Bob and family. If we could bottle up what made Ruby tick, the world would be a better place. She was so fortunate to have you at her side, Bob. Awesome couple. Take care, Ron & Lorraine Beacom
This tribute was added by Kevin Kendrick on July 26, 2020
"Ruby, Ruby, Ruby"...a phrase that will live on forever because it's what we always heard when Ruby entered a room, any room. She was a leader in every sense of the word and beyond that, a genuinely compassionate human being. Ruby and Bob have taught me so much about what it means to be a good Rotarian, what it means to be a good human being. They exemplified the power of forgiveness and in so doing, created an aura of love and respect wherever they went. I will miss you forever my friend. But I do all that I can to ensure your legacy lives. Ruby, Ruby, Ruby. Always.
This tribute was added by Andrew Iwamasa on July 26, 2020
My mother always taught me to keep my head held high, be able to laugh, and treat others with respect. If I can show my own children a path so similar I will be very blessed.
This tribute was added by Kenneth Iwamasa on July 25, 2020
Coloring outside the lines! My mom always insisted on me not using coloring books. She told me always make my own coloring books. Make them I shall. - Kenny Iwamasa, son

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