Ruby Zillah Winslow (“Ruby”) was born on November 6, 1910, in Myricks, Massachusetts, to Lena Macomber Winslow and Edward Williams Winslow. She had one brother, Gilbert Williams Winslow, born on April 19, 1915.

Ruby graduated from Taunton High School in 1928 and Simmons College in 1932, where she studied home economics. Successful in academics, Ruby also took on field hockey, tennis and track in college; in addition to teaching Bible school and piano.

In the fall of 1932, Ruby became a student dietitian at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She worked for a few years before transferring to the Station Hospital at Fort Sheridan, IL, in 1936, and the Veterans’ Administration Hospital in the Bronx, NY, shortly thereafter.

A few years later, Ruby left the Bronx to travel and worked as a dietitian in Puerto Rico. On November 28, 1942, Ruby lost her brother, Gilbert, and his wife, Betty, in a building fire that killed nearly 500.

On April 1, 1943, Ruby Winslow was sworn into service as a second lieutenant. Congress was making changes and improved the status and benefits for dietitians working in the military. Ruby’s hard work and outstanding service helped her move up the ranks and awarded her an excellent reputation.

In 1947, Ruby began working at Brooke General Hospital at Fort Sam Houston, in Texas, where she earned the title of director of Brooke’s School of Dietetics, and she became a major in 1950. In 1951, Ruby received a master’s degree in institutional management from Columbia University and moved on to the Tripler Army Hospital in Hawaii. Major Winslow was extremely well regarded by both superiors and fellow colleagues.

In 1958, Ruby became chief of the Food Service Division and director of the Dietetic Internship Program at Walter Reed. She retired in December 1963.

LaVon Parker Linn was born on April 12, 1911, in Table Rock, Nebraska, to Lenora Mae Parker Linn and Harry Alonzo Linn. He had five brothers and graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1938. LaVon was sworn into the U.S. Army in 1942.

Ruby and LaVon met as friends in early 1963, following the death of his wife. On October 5, 1966, Ruby and LaVon Linn married at St. Paul’s Methodist Church in Kensington, Maryland. They purchased a home in Arlington, Virginia, and traveled the world together.

On February 1, 1966, Ruby’s father died at the age of 90. Ruby’s mother died on Agust 26, 1970, and Ruby inherited her family’s fortune.

Ruby and LaVon made a mutual decision to give back to communities and institutions with their newfound wealth. They donated to countless organizations for many years. On May 4, 1985, after a battle with cancer, LaVon Linn passed away. On December 2, 2011, Ruby Linn passed away.

The Ruby W. and LaVon P. Linn Foundation was created in 2001, by Ruby, and continues to carry on her and LaVon’s legacy today.

Source: RWL, Lt. Col. Ruby Winslow Linn, Doubling a Life of Service by Linda Smith Rhoads, 2001

  Lt. Col. Ruby W. Linn
  Col. LaVon P. Linn, c. 1966. Photo by Douglas Photographers