Posted 2/27/19 (Wed)
Ruby Eve Chernenko, 89, was called home to be with our Lord and Savior, Feb. 14, 2019. She was born July 14, 1929, to Theodore and Dorothea (Frei) Witt in Halliday, N.D. After living in Elbowoods for a few years, the family moved to Grassy Butte as the construction of the Garrison Dam flooded Elbowoods.
On June 5, 1952, she married Alec Chernenko, the love her life. He was quite literally “the boy next door.” They were married for 42 years and had three children, Ronald, Denise, and Shirley. She was a fiercely independent woman and taught all of us to be the same. She was always one to lend a hand and would teach anyone who wanted to learn. Except for the pickles. She tried to teach us…they never turned out for us.
Alec and Ruby loved to dance, fish, and spend time with friends and family. There were many games of cards played at the kitchen table. One of Ruby’s favorite games was cribbage. If you didn’t count your points, she would make sure she took them. However, if you took her points, you welcomed that friendly punch to the arm and “HEY NOW!” In June 2015, she out fished a boat full of family and friends when landing the infamous “log,” also known as the eight-pound walleye! She was so excited and kept saying “I can’t believe it!” It was the biggest fish she ever caught. Among her other many talents were gardening, quilting, and baking. One of her Juneberry pies once sold for $300! Jokingly dubbed the “Cabbage Queen of Grassy Butte” it wasn’t unheard of for her to grow 10-15 pound cabbages! One summer day, Ruby was working in her beloved garden. From the top of the hill, Shirley noticed that Ruby unknowingly planted her corn rows in the shape of a cross.
Ruby gave to everyone she knew. She gave her time, her love, and many homemade goods. She grew enough produce to feed the neighbors, quilted enough to keep everyone warm, and loved her family like none other. Her quilts, afghans, and doilies have been gifted among many family members and friends. Heaven has certainly gained an Angel.
Ruby leaves behind one sister, Linda Watson, Mesa, Ariz.; a son, Ronald Chernenko (Colleen Rask) Grassy Butte, N.D.; two daughters, Denise Tibbs (Harold Hugelen) Belfield, N.D., and Shirley Pennington (Jerry) New Town, N.D.; five grandchildren, Andrea Enderle (Norman) Keene, N.D., Ryan Pennington, Seattle, Wash., Michele Pennington, New Town, N.D., Kyle Chernenko (Karley), Grassy Butte, N.D., and Darren Chernenko (Desirae Feland), Bismarck, N.D.; four great-grandchildren, Jacob and Madison Enderle, Mia and Finley Chernenko; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Ruby is preceded in death by her parents, Theodore and Dorothea Witt; husband, Alec Chernenko; sister, Esther; brothers, Raymond and his wife Delores, Edwin and his wife Jeanette, Elton and his wife Virginia, Gene; and daughter-in-law, Kathy Chernenko.
Funeral services for Ruby were held at 11 a.m., Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, at the First Lutheran Church in Watford City. Pastor Robert Schmidt and Pastor Rob Favorite officiated. A prayer service was held Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, at the funeral home at 7p.m. Interment was held at the Grassy Butte Cemetery, Grassy Butte, N.D., under the care of the Fulkerson-Stevenson Funeral Home of Watford City, N.D. Visitation was Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the funeral home and one hour before services at the church. Remembrances, condolences and pictures may be shared with the family at www.fulkersons.com.