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 Whit 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


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