Visitation Information:

September 23rd, 2019 at 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Redwine United Methodist Church
3285 Poplar Springs Road Gainesville, GA 30507

Service Information:

September 23rd, 2019 at 12:30 PM
Redwine United Methodist Church
3285 Poplar Springs Road Gainesville, GA 30507

Mrs. Ruby Pearl Messer Barber, 98

~~Mrs. Ruby Pearl Messer Barber, age 98, of Gainesville, formerly of Sandy Springs, passed away Saturday, September 7, 2019 at her residence.

Funeral Services will be 12:30-1:30 pm, Monday, September 23, 2019 at Redwine United Methodist Church.  Rev. Bryan Smith and Rev. Andy Witt will officiate.  The family will receive friends from 10:30am to 12:30pm at the church.  Interment will be 11:00 am, Tuesday, September 24, 2018 at Arlington Memorial Park, Sandy Springs, with Military Honors.

She was a veteran of the United States Navy, member of Wieuca Road Baptist Church and was presently attending Redwine United Methodist Church.

Ruby was born January 25, 1921 to the late Issac Ross and Bertha Susan Messer in Wedowee, Alabama.  She was one of six sisters and enlisted in the US Navy as a WAVE during WWII.  She completed basic training in Bronx, New York and later was stationed aboard Naval Air Station Atlanta, where she met her future husband, William Wyone Brooks Barber. Her experience as a WAVE was featured in Emily Yellin’s collection of memoirs Our Mothers’ War.  “It was a choice of adventure. I didn’t have any brothers, and I thought that’s something I can do, one way I can make a contribution.”

Ruby was well known and highly regarded for her abilities as a cook. Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Rick Bragg wrote about his experience at her table just prior to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. “The biscuits, Lord, the biscuits...her (cooking) is the genuine, traditional Southern food that visitors to the Summer Olympics may be expecting. There’s only one problem. It’s not for sale. Mrs. Ruby Pearl, as she is also known here, cooks only for her family or friends, in her kitchen.”

Her cooking was never for sale, but it was always freely offered to anyone who visited her home. She was the kind of sweet spirit with a sparkle in her eye that caught your attention.

Friends and family members remember her as loving, generous, kind, gracious and adventurous. She was always there to listen and ready with a warm hug. A devout Christian, she held great faith in the Lord and truly let her light shine.

Mrs. Barber is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Susan and Don Taylor of Fernandina Beach, FL; daughter and son-in-law, Laura and John Donaldson of Woodstock; son and daughter-in-law, Steve and Ginny Barber of Gainesville; and son and daughter-in-law, Philip and Pearl Barber of Gainesville, granddaughter and husband, Dr. Deborah Barber Shores and Major Douglas Shores and great-granddaughters, Daria and Daniela Shores of Corpus Christi, Texas; and grandson, Keith Barber of Gainesville; granddaughter, Julia Barber of Altamonte Springs, Fl; and sister, Marie Messer Cosper of LaGrange, Georgia.  She was preceded in death by her husband of 73 years, William Wyone Brooks Barber.

Flowers will be accepted, or donations may be made to Redwine United Methodist Church, Youth & Children’s Fund, 3285 Poplar Springs Road, Gainesville, Georgia 30507.

Memorial Park South Funeral Home, 4121 Falcon Parkway, Flowery Branch, Georgia 30542 is in charge of arrangements.  Send on-line condolences to


Condolences 5
Alice Beth Royce 2019-09-16 18:06:05
When her son, Steve married my cousin, she and Bill became family. When you were around her you felt loved. I only hope she knew that it was returned. I loved her dearly.
John William Knebel 2019-09-18 20:28:57
I'm not sure where to begin but I know that when I got introduced to the Barber family, my life changed, for the better. Ruby always treated me as if I were her 5th child and gave me some of the greatest advice that I have ever received. Although I have been absent from what I consider to be the best friends of my life, for a few years, the memories of Ruby fill my heart with great joy. It is wonderful to know that God has touched your life, simply because you knew one of His greatest angels. There are some people in this world that truly make a difference in the lives of others; Ruby made a difference in all of our lives. She shall remain in my memories as one of the most important people that I have ever met in my life. May God welcome you home to be reunited with William and live in eternity, knowing that you have impacted our lives in peace, love and prosperity. Love you Mom! John
Randy Brewer 2019-09-22 15:37:03
Miss Ruby was without a doubt one of the sweetest people on earth. Always a joy to be around. She brought a ray of sunshine to all. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Barber family.
MarieGriffin 2019-09-23 11:06:02
This is probably the hardest goodbye I've ever said. I loved you so very much Aunt Ruby. You were one of my many mothers. I have so many wonderful memories of you and Uncle Bill. You were the sweetest woman I have ever known. I can still smell and taste your stuffed bellleppers! Each summer all of us kids would go to the Health Dept in Sandy Springs for shots;but as a treat you'd take us to Kmart. Too many good times to mention. I will always cherish the memories and I will see you again. Love you forever and always. Marie
Carolyn Odom 2019-09-24 10:21:15
She was a lovely, sweet Christian lady. I treasure the memories of time spent with Ruby and Brooks, especially when they flew to Florida for our family 4th of July barbecues before we started having the annual Odom Family Reunions at Warwick. They are Jeff's relatives, but I loved them dearly! Also enjoyed talking to them on the phone for an hour to "catch up" with each other. This is not "Goodbye", but "See you soon" dear friends. Praying for peace and comfort for the family, with much love.
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