“Teachers affect eternity; they can never tell where their influence stops.”
Henry Brooks Adams
To Ruby Hogge Mabry, daughter of the late Tilden and Lula Hogge and a native of Rowan County, Kentucky, education has been more than a career; it has been an important part of her family history. To honor that history and give back to future generations of students attending the elementary school named in honor of Tilden Hogge, Mrs. Mabry and her children decided to donate land to Rowan County Schools for an outdoor classroom that will be called “Ruby’s Hillside.”
Following in the footsteps of her late parents, who were both teachers, Mrs. Mabry spent over 30 years in the education field, starting her teaching career in 1938 in the Pond Lick School near Cranston. Much of her teaching career was spent in the Canton, Ohio school system where she taught 3rd grade and prescriptive reading. This love of education was transferred to her children, all of whom have earned college degrees.
Besides inheriting the Hogge family’s love of education, Mrs. Mabry also learned to love nature and gardening at the feet of her mother. As a child, when she wasn’t working in the garden, she was running up and down the hillside, collecting nuts, and wading through the creeks.
The core of Mrs. Mabry’s life, though, is and always has been her family. She and her late husband, Perry Mabry, were married for 50 years, until Perry’s death in 1989. They worked together to raise five children – Perry Joe (deceased), Larue Mabry Hall (Stow, Ohio), Judy Mabry Knepper (Alexandria, Virginia), Donna Mabry (Rehoboth Beach, Delaware), and Clayton Mabry (King Ferry, New York.)
Mrs. Mabry currently resides in Stow, Ohio near her daughter, Larue Mabry Hall, in an assisted living facility. Mrs. Hall noted that her mother loves receiving cards and letters from her Kentucky friends and family. To drop a note to Mrs. Mabry, letters can be sent to Larue Hall’s address at 2876 Bellaire St., Stow, OH 44224.
“My brother, my sisters and I wanted a special way to honor our mother,” said Donna Mabry, daughter of Ruby Hogge Mabry. “She was a devoted educator and has always had a loving place in her heart for her Kentucky home.”
Larry Tapp, principal of Tilden Hogge Elementary School, expressed his appreciation to the Mabry family for their generosity. “The donation of this land behind our school will make it possible for our students to learn the lessons that nature continuously provides. Even though Mrs. Mabry has retired from teaching, she will still be having a lasting effect on students for years to come.”
A sign will be placed at the entrance to the outdoor classroom. This sign will read “Ruby’s Hillside – This learning park is dedicated in honor of Ruby Hogge Mabry who loved her Kentucky home and valued family, education and community.”
Larue Hall spoke of her mother’s wish to make the donation, “By donating this small tract of land for an outdoor classroom, our mother, Ruby Mabry, ensures that the community’s children will be in the forefront of environmental principles and will help protect the land for the future.”
“It seemed fitting to carry on the family tradition of supporting education in Rowan County as well as her love of nature,” said Donna Mabry. “This gift will carry on her spirit in so many ways.”