CHERRYVILLE - Ruby Ethel Heafner, 86, Carolina Care of Cherryville, passed away Oct. 2, 2010, at Kings Mountain Hospice House.
She was a native of Gaston County, born March 5, 1924, daughter of the late Robert Monroe and Nancy Hilderbrand Heafner.
She was a World War II veteran, having served in the Womens Air Corp. She retired from Boeing Aircraft in Long Beach California.
Ruby started a baseball career with Dixon and AYP in Mount Holly. She then played baseball as a catcher with the All-American Girl's Professional Baseball League from 1946 1951, which was depicted in the movie "A League of Their Own," including teams from Rockford, Fort Wayne, Racine and Battle Creek. She was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY and in 2008, the Gaston County Sports Hall of Fame. Her favorite pastime was reading the Bible. Family and friends will miss her and cherish all the fond times.
She was preceded in death by four brothers, John "Bunch," Robert "Jockey," Jack Dempsey and Eugene Harding Heafner; sisters, Vera "RahRah" Aus-tin and Juanita Cook; late nieces, Karen Farley and Shirley Kitchen;
Survivors include her sister, Sue Heafner Ghantt of Jacksonville, Fla.; nephews, Barry, Terry and Charles Heafner and Tommy and RubyDavid Ghantt; nieces, Martha Flowers, Nancy Ghantt, Sandra Laughridge; several grand and great-grand nieces and nephews.
A funeral service will be held 3 p.m. Wednesday in the Chapel of Ward Funeral Service conducted by Pastor John Pelonero and Mrs. Opal Parks.
The family will receive friends 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home and other times at the home of Tommy and Sherry Ghantt, 4401 Farmbrook Road, Gastonia.
Burial will follow the service at Armstrong Cemetery with full military rites by the Gaston County Last Man Club.
Ward Funeral Service in charge of the arrangements.