Ruby Rudine Montgomery

Funeral services for Ruby Rudine (Coward) Montgomery, 98, will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Harper/Talasek Funeral Home, Belton.

Mrs. Montgomery died March 2, 2018.

She was born Feb. 20, 1920, to Euland Floyd Coward and Montie Ray (Jones) Coward.

She grew up in Pancake, Texas, and graduated from Turnersville High School. When she was 18, she moved to Gatesville and took a job as a waitress. She met and married a local boy, Raymond Edwards, on Sept. 7, 1940. They moved to Odessa in 1944, where Ruby was active in the Odessa community, the Progressive Study Club, did volunteer work in the community and began her career as a cosmetologist with Merle Norman Cosmetics.

In 1963, Ruby and Raymond returned to Central Texas, making their home in Copperas Cove. Ruby and her sister, Carmen Elliott, went into business together, opening the first Merle Norman Cosmetics Studio on Gray Street in Killeen.

Ruby and her nephew, Donald Elliott, worked side by side for many years, growing the business and eventually opening a second Merle Norman Studio in Copperas Cove.

Ruby was an active member of the American Business Women’s Association and Faith Temple Church in Killeen, where she taught Sunday school and Bible classes and led a prayer group. She remained active at Faith Temple into her early 90s.

Some years after Raymond’s death, Ruby met Merlon Lee (M.L.) Montgomery Jr. at a church service at Faith Temple Church. They married in 1980, and made their home in Belton until 1983, when they moved to Harker Heights to be closer to their home church, Faith Temple.

Ruby was a feisty, smart, determined woman, full of life, who loved her work and cherished her family. She and M.L. loved traveling throughout the U.S. She was a great cook, and loved preparing wonderful meals for her family and friends. She will be greatly missed by all those who loved her.

Ruby was preceded in death by her first husband, Raymond Edwards, her son, Charles Ray Edwards, and her second husband, Merlon Lee Montgomery Jr.

She is survived by her granddaughter, Denise (Johnny) Lake of Arkansas; grandson, Mark Edwards of Dripping Springs, Texas; step-children Larry R. (Priscilla) Montgomery; Merlon Lee (Monty) Montgomery, Jr.; Merlene Dials; grandchildren Emily, Shelby and Jayden Lake; step-grandchildren Micah, Malachi, Merlon (Trey) and John (Jay) Montgomery; sister-in-law Bonnie Boots Coward; nieces, Sharon (Edwin) Throm, Coleta (Punk) Morris; Anita Jones; Cindy (Fred) Walls; and nephews Duane Keele, Donald (Linda) Elliott, and Jimmy Coward.

Visitation is from 5 to 6 p.m. Monday at Harper-Talasek Funeral Home, 503 N. Main, Belton, which is in charge of arrangements.

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