Florence Ruby Rae (Bisson) Buckley

Mama_at_Caitlin's_weddingFlorence Ruby Rae (Bisson) Buckley was born April 27, 1926 on a houseboat on the St. Joe River near St. Maries, Idaho.  The daughter of Bill and Ruby Bisson, she was raised by her beloved Choctaw grandmother, Florence (Bridgewater) Beamer in Lewiston, Idaho.  As a young woman Rae helped with the war effort, first working at an airplane manufacturing plant as “Ruby” the Riveter, and then at the Colman Dock in Seattle.  She graduated from Queen Anne High School before earning a BS at the University of Washington.

In 1948 Rae achieved the three greatest accomplishments of her young life:  she graduated from college, married Sid Buckley and voted for Harry Truman.  The next year Sid graduated from law school and they moved to Colville, WA to establish his law practice.  In 1953 they moved to Kettle Falls with the first two of what would become a family of six daughters.  During those years Rae helped found the Stevens County Women Democrats and the Kettle Falls Lady Lions.  She helped build the community pool and was the first woman to take a swim in it, but not by choice.

As a 25th anniversary gift their daughters gave them a trip to England, where Sid had spent months recovering from the injuries he had received in WW II.  The two became adventurous travelers visiting the far corners of the world, always on their own, always after months of planning:  visiting her daughter in Australia, Nelson Mandela’s jail cell and chipping away at the Berlin Wall at the time of its fall. Her favorite trip was a safari in Zimbabwe. 

Rae was a lifelong liberal, philanthropist and supporter of the arts.  Contributions in her memory may be made to any of her favorite organizations including the Kettle Falls Lady Lions, the Kettle Falls Public Library, the Seattle Shakespeare Company or Planned Parenthood.

Rae was preceded in death, weeks earlier, by her best friend and favorite travel companion, Sid and in 1956 by her third daughter, Shauna Lynn.  She will be lovingly remembered by daughters Apanakhi Jeri Buckley, Jeannie Buckley Blank and her husband Tom Blank, Betty Buckley and her husband Gregg Caudell, Jody Russelle Buckley, Erin Buckley-Noonan and her husband Kurt Noonan, along with nine grandchildren and many, many friends.

Her daughters will always lovingly remember her down-to-earth advice, posture and good grammar. As she often told them, “it’s never a problem being the best dressed person in the room.”

She was truly an Idaho Ruby.

10 Responses to “Florence Ruby Rae (Bisson) Buckley”

  • Sandi Blann says:

    I am so sorry to hear of the death of your mom and your dad earlier. Sending prayers and love your way.

    All my love,

    Sandi Blann

  • NormaJean (Richart) Hedlund says:

    I am so sorry about the loss of your parents. Don’t know if any of you remember me but I have known you a long time. My mom worked for the Bissons. Prayers for you all. God bless NormaJean (Richart) Hedlund.

  • Cathy (Logan) Matresse says:

    My best and highest thoughts go out to your family for your losses this year. Sid and Rae are remembered fondly.

  • Lori Marshall Osborn says:

    My thoughts are with you all at this time. Remembering your mother fondly, she was a wonderful woman.

  • KiKi Welfel says:

    So sorry for your loss…now a double loss. My deepest sympathy to all of you. Love and hugs, KiKi

  • Dave & Sue Walker says:

    Our deep condolences and prayers are with you, Apanakhi, and your family in the loss of your wonderful and inspiring mother. We pray that you’re all surrounded by peace and ease during this time of grief and healing.

  • Ricki Meneeley Githens says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with each of you. I will always carry the good memories of love and fun at your house.

  • Jeanne Avey says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Rae. I know how hard it is to lose your mother, and it’s not easy to find the right words for comfort. Just know that Rae will be remembered fondly by me. You all are in my thoughts and prayers. Jeanne

  • Dave & Sue Walker says:

    Our deepest sympathies to you and your family, Apanakhi, at this time of loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers as you move through this difficult time. Love, Dave & Sue

  • Patricia Tummons says:

    How I loved being with your family in Kettle Falls. I thought your folks were absolutely wonderful and am so glad they lived such full and rich lives. How hard it must be for you to have lost them both in such a short span of time, I hope you are comforted by the loving memories of time spent with them.

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