Ruby Mae (Branum) Bishop

Posted: Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Alaska Pioneer Ruby Mae (Branum) Bishop, 91, died peacefully of natural causes May 9, 2010, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 12, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 159 Marydale Ave. in Soldotna. Burial will follow the funeral at Spruce Grove Memorial Park in Kasilof.

Mrs. Bishop was born Nov. 24, 1918, in Picher, Okla., to Noah and Jeanette Branum.

"Showing her independence at an early age, she insisted on staying in school and was one of the few females obtaining her high school diploma during that era. She continued to have the desire to learn, whether it be computer skills, a new word or arts and crafts. She was able to remain self-sufficient right to the end of her life's journey and made the final determination of when she was ready to join Waldo on their next voyage," her family said.

She married Jack L. J. Hetherton in 1941 and children Jack Leonard Jr., Mary Jeanette, Jacquelyn Yvonne, Vivian Lee, Kathryn Darlene and Billie Jean soon rounded out their family. Ever an adventurer, she lived with her family in Oklahoma, California, Wyoming, and Georgia, ultimately making Alaska her home in 1952, homesteading in Ninilchik. She and Jack Jr. worked hard taking care of the family and proving up on the homestead while Jack Sr. worked throughout the state constructing the White Alice sites.

Mrs. Bishop married Waldo L. Bishop in 1961 and relocated to Soldotna in 1966.

"They were well known throughout the Kenai Peninsula and were very active in community and Church affairs. In 1982 they were blessed to be able to complete their LDS mission and travel throughout the Lower 48 locating family members to complete their genealogy work," her family said.

Mrs. Bishop was preceded in death by her husband, Waldo L. Bishop; parents; siblings, Velma, Betty, Chester, Geneva; and, grandson Alexander Bardy.

She is survived by siblings, Wanda Williams, Donald Branum, Guinevere Wilkins, Darrell Branum, and Dicky Cotton; children, Jack Hetherton, Jr. and wife Arabella of Soldotna, Mary Gilmore of Washington, Jacquelyn Canoose of Soldotna, Vivian Hadden of Oregon, Darlene Langill and husband Frank of Wasilla, Billie Jean Phillips and husband, Alan, of Soldotna and Lila Bishop of Illinois; 23 grandchildren; 28 great grandchildren; and 3 great-great grandchildren.

Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

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