My grandmother, Rubanner Fletcher Dukes, died at the age of 80 on 23 May 1969 at the home of her daughter who lived next door to her in Jacksonville, Florida. She had fought cancer of the jaw and cheek for three years. Despite disfigurement from surgery, she maintained her sweet spirit, her smile, and her uncomplaining attitude those last three years of her life.
I consider her a very strong and remarkable woman and am grateful to have her as one of my ancestors. From the time of her marriage, she worked at chores that all farmers’ wives did back at the turn of the twentieth century. After thirty years of that lifestyle, she made an abrupt change and moved to the big city. I suppose with farming in her blood, she might have decided to take the knowledge she had and continue to work the soil by growing beautiful plants and flowers in her yard. Perhaps you should read what her daughter wrote about her.
“Rubanner worked hard growing gardens to feed her large family and helping in the field. She was lovingly called ‘Banner’ by her brothers and sisters. As a Christian lady she was quiet spoken, an humble person, willing to help when she could. She bore eleven children. Her hands were never idle. She would quilt, tat, crochet, and do embroidery work as well as sew. Potted plants were her pleasure, getting cuttings from friends and making them grow beautifully. She liked all kinds of flowers and plants. Even in her last years she had small kumquat trees bearing fruit and enjoyed seeing the grandchildren pick and eat them.”
I have blogged about my grandmother in a previous post which you can read at Valentine Birthday.
 Damato, Ray and Audrey Dukes Damato. As Much As We Know … About the Fletchers and the Lees. Self published, 1995. Print.