KIAMA recently farewelled one of its best-known citizens following the death of Ruby Richardson.
Born Ruby Doreen Ward on July 7, 1927, at Jamberoo, she was the first of four daughters of Kell and Violet Ward and along with her sisters Beryl, Gwen and Thelma, was raised on the family dairy farm Pinegrove at Croome, Jamberoo.
She attended Jamberoo Public School in the days where there was no school uniform, no tuck shop and no school bus and travel to school was on horseback.
At the age of 14, Mrs Richardson left school to work on the farm.
She later met Harry Richardson at a dance at the Oddfellows Hall in Kiama, and they were married by minister Les Tooth at the Church of England, Jamberoo, on March 22, 1952.
In 1954, Mr and Mrs Richardson moved into their current home in Reid Street, Kiama.
Later that year, they suffered the loss of first son, Geoffrey, aged just two days, but two years later welcomed Wayne into the family.
Throughout her life, Mrs Richardson made many significant contributions to various community organisations. Some of these included being the first goal scorer for the Jamberoo Women's Hockey Club; success with the Junior Farmers; champion handicrafts exhibitor at both Albion Park and Kiama shows and 25 years of membership and service with the Kiama CWA.
She was also a constant sideline supporter at many a football game, cricket and tennis following the careers of Wayne and grandsons Tim and Brad.
Mrs Richardson will also be remembered for the various local businesses where she was employed, including Cleo Cladders clothing factory, Surf Beach kiosk, Kiama Motel and Thompson's Fruit shop.
Mr and Mrs Richardson celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last year and even though by then Mrs Richardson was unwell, it didn't stop the cheeky comments, characteristic smile and a love of the simple things in life.
Throughout these past few difficult years, Mr Richardson was an absolute pillar of strength with his patience, care and love.