Ruby Thomas

Ruby Thomas, 96, of Spearfish, South Dakota, passed away on Thursday, August 30, 2012, at Crook County Long Term Care in Sundance, Wyoming.

Ruby Turgeon Thomas was born on June 3, 1916, in Elgin, North Dakota, to Guy and Bertha (Stoller) Bell. The family moved to Spearfish in 1931, where her father was in business and was instrumental in bring the Passion Play to the Black Hills.

Ruby married Joe Turgeon of St. Onge and to that union five children were born, Emery Joel (JoJo), Harlene Gayle, Berta Faye, Kaye Ellen and Leslie Guy. The family lived in St. Onge where the children all started school. The family moved to Dupree where they operated a café. In 1952 they moved to Spearfish where she worked as a clerk for Bell Market.

Ruby married Willis Thomas of Dupree in 1962 where they ranched for 25 years and she worked in Hickenbotham’s Clothing Store. After his death, she moved back to Spearfish in 1986.

Ruby’s joy in life was being a grandmother to several extended families and having friends and family in her home, where she loved to cook and create gifts for all. She was a proud volunteer at the Black Hills Passion Play, where all of her family and friends participated with her. She enjoyed working in the Republican Party, giving many luncheons and supporting candidates with fundraisers. It was her pleasure to entertain nursing home residents with birthday parties. She gave unselfishly to all around her.

Survivors include her son, Les and Karen (Gregson) Turgeon of Beulah, Wyoming; two sisters, Garnette Ainsworth and Sonya Albers and brother, Roger Guy Bell all of Spearfish; thirteen grandchildren; twenty-two great-grandchildren; four great-great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husbands, Joe Turgeon and Willis Thomas; her parents, Bertha and Guy Bell; brothers, Tom, Doug and LeRoy (Bud) Bell; son, JoJo; three daughters, Harlene, Berta and Kaye; two stepsons, Terry and Jewell Thomas; a grandson, Randy Lane Mraz; a great-granddaughter, Amy Jo Mraz; and a great-great grandson, Devon Nicolas.

Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 8, 2012, at the United Church of Christ (Congregational), her church home for 86 years, in Spearfish. A private family burial will be held at Rosehill Cemetery.

Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapels and Crematory Service of Spearfish. Online condolences may be left at