Ruby Korver

December 3, 1924
June 22, 2020

Surrounded by her children, Ruby Korver, 95, died peacefully on June 22, 2020  in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Ruby was the oldest daughter of the late Johannes Barth, a German businessman, and the late Chiyo Barth, a Japanese national.  Along with her late husband Ronald (Ron) Korver, she spent most of her life in Japan as a career missionary with the Reformed Church in America (RCA).

Born in 1924 in Tokyo, Ruby attended Japanese private schools founded by Christians. In 1944, she graduated from Keisen Jogakuen, the equivalent of a junior college. Ruby made her confession of faith on Christmas Day 1943 and became a member of Fujimimachi Church in Tokyo. She later transferred her membership to the Yukinoshita Church in Kamakura, Japan.  

Following the end of World War II, Ruby worked as a secretary for the ecumenical Chapel Center affiliated with the U.S. Eighth Army which occupied Japan. It was there she met her future husband, Ron, who had arrived in Japan from the U.S. in 1948 as a short-term missionary to teach at a Christian school in Tokyo. Ron and Ruby’s friendship grew with their faith and they both made their commitment not only to each other, but also to Christ. Ruby followed Ron to the U.S. after his three-year assignment. While Ron studied at New York University’s Biblical Seminary to receive his master’s degree in Christian Education, Ruby stayed in Ron’s hometown, Orange City, Iowa, and studied at Northwestern Junior College where she received an Associate degree. In 1952, Ruby and Ron were sent to Japan as missionaries by the RCA. They were married in September of that year at Yukinoshita Church. 

Ruby and Ron had four children, all born and raised in Japan: Kathy (Green Bay, WI), Michael (Portland, OR), Mark (Seattle, WA) and Kristy (Earlysville, VA). The entire family traveled back to the U.S. on furloughs every four or five years to visit their supporting churches. Ruby became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1964. After raising her children, Ruby went back to teaching at Keisen Jogakuen, her alma mater. Ruby was also active as a member of the permanent steering committee of the National Federation of Kyodan Women’s Societies, a nationwide church women’s organization of the United Church of Christ in Japan (Kyodan ) and as a member of the board of trustees of Ferris Jogakuin, a Christian women’s school in Yokohama. During that time, Ruby and Ron traveled back and forth between their homes in Japan and Wisconsin.  Ruby and Ron made their final trip to the U.S. in 2011 and resided in Green Bay ever since. Ruby and Ron formerly attended Preble Park Presbyterian Church, and Ruby is currently a member of First Presbyterian Church of Green Bay. In the fall of 2017, they moved to an apartment at Age Well Assisted Living where Ron died on May 8, 2018. Ruby left Age Well in March of this year to live with her daughter Kathy and her husband.   Ruby is survived by her four children and their spouses, eleven grandchildren, and three great-granddaughters. She was preceded in death by her sister Mia, her parents, and her husband.

Proko-Wall Funeral Home is assisting the family.

A memorial service will be announced at a future date. Ruby’s family extends special thanks to Unity Hospice, Home Instead Senior Care (Deb), and Age Well for their support near the end of her life.