Skip to content

West Plains, MO Location (417) 256-4141

Thayer, MO Location (417) 264-7242


Ruby Jean Steed, daughter of the late Claude Emmett Cook and Cecil Mae (Robinson) Cook, was born September 16, 1936, in Salem, Arkansas. She departed this life on June 15, 2023, at the age of 86 years & 9 months. She was united in marriage on March 29, 1951, in Hardy, Arkansas to Charles Edward Steed, and was blessed with over 72 years of marriage. In the early 1960’s, Charles and Ruby started their business, Steed’s Grocery Store & Gas Station, being one of Thayer’s first convenience stores. They operated the store for two decades, working seven days a week, before Ruby decided to slow down and spend time chasing their teenage twin boys and their athletic schedules. Retirement did not last long, as Marion Morse (Morse Furniture) in downtown Thayer, asked her to take a part-time job selling furniture. Part-time turned into full-time, and in the mid-1980s, the Morse’s sold out to Chad & Barbara Butler (of West Plains) and formed Thayer Furniture. Mom learned the ropes from great businessmen such as Johnny Cox & Steve Honeycutt and continued working for the Butlers. She became Manager, which she held for 20 years. Ruby loved her job and took pride in picking out quality furniture. She loved the people she worked with: Johnny, Steve, and especially George Landis! Mom loved her customers and always knew what would sell best. She enjoyed store visits from various local business folks in town, especially from her pal Pat Freeman. Pat and Rosie were special people to our family. Pat’s tales and camaraderie brought her great joy. Annually, the Dallas TX market trip with Barbara Butler was a special event to order new furniture.  Charlie always thought the only reason she worked was to cover her tab for what she wanted to buy for their home.  Charlie knew a trip to the market meant a new piece of furniture! Mom was very grateful to the Butler Family for giving her that opportunity & they became the best of friends. Mom had a great eye for furniture and home décor, supplying thousands of families in the area with the best. In the early 2000’s Ruby finally decided it was time to retire, so she could spend more time with her children and grandchildren.

 Ruby loved her church and her church family at the First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, in Mammoth Spring, Arkansas. She was a member for over 65 years and served as the Treasurer for nearly 30 years. Ruby’s love for her children and grandchildren was endless. She forever looked forward to Christmas where she would buy everyone something special for them individually. Gram loved her family, and she would always have a meal prepared for them for holidays and never forgot a birthday. Gram Ruby was simply the best and we could not have asked for more, thus there is now an irreplaceable new void in our hearts.

 Ruby is survived by her husband, Charles Edward Steed, and five children: Charles (Butch) & wife Donna of Thayer; Jerry & wife BJ of Mountain Home; Barbara of West Plains; Kevin & wife Lana of Mammoth Spring; and Kelly & wife Angela of Thayer.  Ten grandchildren: Angi Littlejohn of Memphis; Becky (Rodney) Hallmark of Horseshoe Bend; Christina Mainprize of West Plains; (TJ)Thaddeus Jay (Beth) Steed of Ash Flat; Charli Steed of Springfield; Jacob (Samantha) Steed of Republic; Kelsey (Morgan) Flynn of Little Rock; Ashley Steed of Republic; Zachary (Chandra) Steed of Thayer; and Ruby Frances Steed of Mountain Home. Ten great-grandchildren, and five nephews: Michael Cook, Eddie, Jim, & Doyle Wrenfrow, and Emmett (Bubba) Cook. One niece, Hazel Rodrigue, and special friends, Dow and Carol Wilkerson.

 In addition to her parents, Ruby was preceded in death by one infant son, Larry Edward; one infant grandson, Michael Wayne; two brothers: Paul and Emmett Cook; one sister, Anna Pearl (Cook) Wrenfrow; four nephews: Kenny Cook, Jimmy Joe Wagner, Bill & Robert Wrenfrow; one niece, Linda Kay Wrenfrow; two uncles: Silas & Raymond Cook, three aunts: Leida Cook, Tressie Wood, and Irene Simms; daughter-in-law, Margaret Steed.


Memorial contributions can be made in honor of Ruby J. Steed to the First Christian Church, PO Box 175 Mammoth Spring, Arkansas 72554 

Funeral Services for Ruby will be held Monday, June 19, 2023 at 2 p.m. at the Carter Funeral Home Chapel of Thayer, Missouri.  There will be a visitation from 12 p.m. till time of service.

Burial will follow after funeral at the Thayer Cemetery of Thayer, Missouri. 

Arrangements are by Carter Funeral Home Inc.-Thayer, Missouri. Visit an online obituary and guestbook at



  1. Joe Tom Collins
    June 18, 2023 @ 1:15 pm

    Ruby and her family were always good friends of mine, I know she will be missed by her family, the family is in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.


  2. Phillip Wade
    June 18, 2023 @ 6:00 pm

    When I was appointed Postmaster at Thayer I soon became acquainted with Ruby as her store was just across the street. On occasion I would visit with Pat and George as we were testing the newest recliners. Great memories for me of the three. Ruby was a kind and wonderful Lady and my life is blessed for having here friendship.

    Phillip Wade


  3. The Frazier’s
    June 19, 2023 @ 7:18 am

    Prayers for all! Love Erica Nancy & Mitchell Frazier


  4. Dean Williams
    June 19, 2023 @ 9:22 am

    Just so sad loosing people like Ruby. She was all kinds of things to me and my family so good. we should all strive to live like Ruby did, to her family and friends. She had such a rough time of late but I can almost hear her voice now, someone who cared so much. Just so many good memories. Charles, and family I wish our deepest sympathies we all loved Ruby and all you. Payers for all you.


  5. Nancy Landes
    June 19, 2023 @ 9:50 am

    Steed family, our hearts break for all of you, my family thought the world of Ruby. I enjoyed hearing all the funny stories Dad would
    tell about the fun times they had down at the store. Ruby always had a smile on her face and was so kind to everyone. She will be missed.
    Our prayers are with Charlie and your family.


  6. Dina "Reese" Cooke
    June 19, 2023 @ 6:01 pm

    Kevin, Kelly and family members, I am so sorry to hear about your Mother. My prayers, thoughts and love to all of her family and friends


  7. Ernestine Hodges
    June 19, 2023 @ 7:05 pm

    So sorry I could not be there today. I loved Ruby and I know Donna could never have had a better Mother- in/ law.


  8. Gary Pliler
    June 26, 2023 @ 4:33 pm

    I am so very sad to hear of Ruby’s passing!! I have so many memories of Charles,Ruby, and their children!! I had the pleasure to be a salesman for Reed-Harlin Grocer to call on their store!! What wonderful memories!! Not only were we FRIENDS, we actually were distant relatives!! Ruby will be missed and Our Prayers for the Family!! God Bless you all so much!!


  9. Glen Mills
    June 26, 2023 @ 5:46 pm

    Charlie, Butch, Jerry and Barbara, Please accept my heartfelt condolence in regard to Ruby’s transition. She always had a kind word and a smile. That meant a lot to me as a kid. My earliest memory of her is when we saw her at the Green Frog Market in Mammoth. May your grief be eased by good memories.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *