Ruby Walser was the wife of a physician who raised five children in Pasadena, California. Her husband was a specialist in Tuberculosis, and they actually moved to the West Coast from New York for a better climate, because of health issues.
Ruby loved to sing, and loved to play cards with her friends. Her family had all the appearances of wealth without really having any, since patients would pay for their treatment with valuables such as silverware and other fine heirlooms. She and her kids often spotted Albert Einstein riding his bike on the way to Cal Tech.
Ruby had a down-to-earth way about her, and would often tell her kids, “If you’re farting like that, it’s time to go to the bathroom.” Unfortunately, she was on the way to the bathroom herself when she died. She was playing cards with her girlfriends and excused herself. She had a heart attack on the stairs.
We tell the story of my Grandma Ruby’s death so often for a laugh that we now refer to it as “Story 203-1B” in our family. Even our kids and friends all now say,
“I’ve got to go see Grandma Ruby.”
—from Liz Walser