Ruby Eleanore was born to parents, Louis and Eleanore (Lange) Pegelo on August 27, 1924. She joined older siblings, Elmer (1920) and Lila (1922) on the family farm on the outskirts of Chesley. The Pegelo family mixed farmed in addition to owning and operating a gravel pit. Ruby told many stories of the meals she prepared for the young men working for the family. She attended both public and high school in Chesley. Following high school, Ruby worked for W.D. Bell as a caregiver at Parkview Manor.
It was during her teenage years that Ruby’s sister, Lila, was seeing a young man by the name of Arnold Knapp. As luck would have it Arnold had a brother, Morris, who soon caught Ruby’s eye. They soon began dating and were married on April 26, 1943. The newlyweds immediately called the Knapp family farm home on Lot 23, Concession 12 in Sullivan Township. The Knapp family soon began to grow with the arrival of Larry in 1944, followed by Gerald (1948) and the twins, Ronald and Reginald (1954). As you can imagine Ruby had her hands full…. right boys? There were at least a couple of times where the boys got the best of her though! On one occasion, the boys got into mom’s 50 lb. bag of sugar in the upstairs closet. They were playing with their tractor and manure spreader and proceeded to spread half of the bag across the upstairs hall. Yikes! There was also the time when the twins began an egg fight in the kitchen (with the eggs mom was about to take to town). Needless to say, these are but just a couple of memorable occasions with their mom during their youth.
In addition to caring for her young family, Ruby helped Morris where she could on the farm. They raised pigs, chickens, and beef before going into dairy in later years. When time allowed it, Ruby enjoyed spending time outside in her flowerbeds. She was also known for her talents in the kitchen. I am told no one ever went hungry as she always prepared a large meal. Ruby was especially known for her butter tarts and pies. Through the years she also collected a variety of spoons and even packets of matches. She did not smoke, yet had a drawer in the house that was full of a variety of unique match packets.
In 1994, Ruby and Morris left the farm, allowing Reg to take over the operation. They quickly settled in Chesley on Tower Rd., where they loved their home and neighbourhood. They spent more time hosting large family gatherings in their home and spending additional time with the grandchildren whenever they could. Retirement also allowed for more time to travel, and that they did! Through the years they traveled much of the U.S. by car, bus, and camper. Destinations explored included Oregon, Florida, the Carolina’s, and Nashville to name a few where they took in the Grand Ole Opry. It shouldn’t be a big surprise that Ruby loved her music, particularly country, and could often be found tapping her foot to the music no matter the location.
Ruby’s strong faith was ever-present and played a vital role in her life. It began in her youth where she and her family attended church regularly. This was followed by her confirmation, marriage, and then bringing the boys up in a faith community. Together, Ruby and Morris were members of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Chesley. They attended regularly until with age they were no longer physically able to do so.
Ruby was a loving, caring woman who always put the needs of her family before her own. She could also be quite comical, enjoying a good joke and often kidding with those around her. Ruby also had some luck! On three separate occasions throughout her life, she won draws at Denomy’s in Chesley. She was adamant she only needed one ticket, and she was often right! In total, she won a fireplace, radio, and a dryer through the years. I am told this luck was not passed down to the next generation though… right boys?
Sadly, Ruby and Morris’ oldest son, Larry, died suddenly of an aneurysm in 1998. As you can imagine, it is never easy losing anyone in your life, not to mention a child, so they resorted to their strong faith and helped their entire family through this difficult time. In 2010, Ruby and Morris made the move to Elgin Abbey, calling it home. Morris’ health soon began to decline and he passed away on March 6, 2012. Although heart-broken Ruby continued to make the most of each day in the years that followed. Often she could be found in the halls challenging fellow residents and staff members to wheelchair races or just enjoying their company. She also enjoyed the many visits from family and friends. Sadly, in recent weeks her health declined further and she passed away on Saturday, December 26, 2020 in her 97th year.
Loving mother of Gerald of Chatsworth, Ronald of Guelph, Reginald (Jan) of R.R. #4 Chesley, and mother-in-law of Jane Knapp. Cherished grandmother of Robbie (Denise), Rhonda, Rick (Julie), Sherry, Arron, Dianna, Benjamin. Ruby will be missed by her twelve great-grandchildren, one great-great-granddaughter, sister-in-law Elda Mae Knapp, as well as the entire Pegelo and Knapp families. She was predeceased by her husband Morris (2012), son Larry (1998), brother Elmer (Madeline) Pegelo, sister Lila (Arnold) Knapp and her parents Louis and Eleanore (Lange) Pegelo.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, private services will be held with interment to follow in the Chesley Cemetery in the spring.
Memorial donations to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.