Ruby Wray Viar, 80, of Lynchburg passed away in the arms of her loving husband on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018.

RUBY VIAR

Ruby Wray Viar, 80, of Lynchburg passed away in the arms of her loving husband on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018.

Ruby was born in Lexington on Dec. 1, 1937. From a very early age, she had a phenomenal talent for the piano. At age 9, her father offered her ten dollars to learn Scott Joplin’s ”Maple Leaf Rag,” she earned those ten dollars. Ruby continued to grow in her talents as a musician, so much so that her piano teacher convinced Ruby’s mother to enroll her in pipe organ lessons, as Ruby had surpassed the piano teacher's ability to advance her any further. At 14, she played piano for the VMI dance band, the Commanders, as well as a substitute organist at Lexington Presbyterian and other area churches. Ruby eventually earned the opportunity to play the pipe organ at The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

Ruby attended Lexington High School where one of her teachers expressed she was the most self-effaced young talent that she knew. Ruby then went on to Madison College (James Madison University), where she earned a bachelor of music in organ performance. After college, she was employed as the pipe organist and choir director at St. Mark’s Methodist Church in Petersburg, where, in June of 1961, she met her husband of nearly 56 years, Neal Viar.

In February 1962, Ruby and Neal were married. For the first years of their marriage, they lived the life of a military family, moving from New York, Puerto Rico, Indiana and Pennsylvania while her husband carried out his duties to his beloved country. During that time, Ruby raised their young children and played organ for Ruthfred Lutheran and Christ United Methodist Churches in Pittsburgh. In 1977, the family returned to Neal’s hometown of Lynchburg where Ruby continued her career as a musician by playing the organ at Timberlake United Methodist for over twenty-five years before retiring. Additionally, she taught piano lessons and was the accompanist for The Jefferson Choral Society; Harmony, a vocal trio of close friends; various Lynchburg Fine Arts Center productions; numerous weddings; funerals and churches. Of all her musical renderings, those most dear to her heart were that of accompanying her children’s and grandchildren's performances. Ruby was a devoted and lively mother and grandmother, who always made it to graduations, games and recitals. She enjoyed her weekly bridge groups, traveling to the beach with her friends and spending time with her family.

She is preceded in death by her father, Luther Peter Wray, mother, Nellie Williams Stanton and step-father, Archie Clifford Meade, all of Lexington. She is survived by her husband and best friend of 56 years, Neal Viar, as well as their four children, Randall Viar (Marion) of Buford, Georgia, Cristopher Viar (Gina) of Lynchburg, Jennifer Reynolds of Lynchburg and Jodi Ettare (James “Vince”) of Lynchburg. Ruby will also be fondly remembered by her three loving older brothers, William “Bill” Wray, of Lexington, Davis Wray of Durham, N.C., and Frank “Major” Wray (Lee) of South Boston, as well as her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Moore (David), her brother-in-law, Doug Viar (Val) and numerous nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews. Additionally, she also leaves a legacy of 14 grandchildren: Savannah Viar, Neal Reynolds, Jessica Hawkins, Abigail Viar, Josh Hawkins, Morgan Viar, David Reynolds, Madison Viar, Becca Hawkins, Michael Viar, Riley Hawkins, Arden Ettare, Lila Ettare and Charlotte Ettare.

The memorial service will be at Timberlake United Methodist Church Thursday, Jan. 25, at 6 p.m. immediately followed by a gathering in the Family Life Center. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in her name to Timberlake United Methodist Church, 21649 Timberlake Rd., Lynchburg, VA 24502 or Parkview Community Missions, 2420 Memorial Ave., Lynchburg, VA 24501.
 

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in her name to Timberlake United Methodist Church, 21649 Timberlake Rd., Lynchburg, VA 24502 or Parkview Community Missions, 2420 Memorial Ave., Lynchburg, VA 24501.

Diuguid Funeral Service & Crematory, Waterlick Chapel, 237-2722, is serving the family. On-line condolences may be sent to www.diuguidfuneralservice.com.

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