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Ruby May Morris, 101, restaurant hostess Jan. 9, 1905 -- Oct. 10, 2006

Services for Ruby May Morris, longtime hostess at Orchard Downs restaurant in Orchard Park, will be at 5:45 p.m. today in F.E. Brown Sons Funeral Home, 6575 E. Quaker St., Orchard Park.

Mrs. Morris died Tuesday in Harris Hill Nursing Facility, Lancaster. She was 101.

Born Ruby Davies in Farmersville, she graduated from the local high school and then attended Geneseo Normal School to become a teacher. She taught in a one-room schoolhouse for several years.

After marrying in 1929, she and her husband lived in Buffalo and Utica before settling in Orchard Park in 1938.

Mrs. Morris went to work in 1945 for Orchard Downs, starting out as a waitress at 50 cents an hour. She later became hostess and, during a 40-year career at the restaurant, was known for her friendly, gracious and warm personality.

When Mrs. Morris retired from the restaurant at age 82, she plunged into volunteer work. Among the organizations to which she dedicated her time were Meals on Wheels and the Red Cross.

At age 93, she was honored as an Orchard Park Citizen of the Week, and at 96, she was recognized as one of Erie County's Senior Volunteers of the Year. She also was active in Orchard Park Presbyterian Church, where she taught Sunday school.

Still working out regularly at a local gym in her 90s, Mrs. Morris was featured in a 1998 Buffalo News story headlined: "The Ruby Morris Workout -- a Senior Lifestyle for the Ages."

Her husband of 57 years, Albert P., died in 1986.

Survivors include two daughters, Jane Rifenburg and Marie Mercer, and a brother, Edward L. Davies.


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