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“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
Rubia Iles (affectionately called: Jo Jo or Queen), 89 of Dallas, Texas transitioned/gained her wings on November 24, 2023. She was born to the parentage of Joseph Echols, Sr., and Ruby Faye (Crawford) Echols on July 17, 1934, in Mexia, Texas. What a wonder, she was named after her parents. The first girl born of nine children. Rubia attended the public schools of Mexia and graduated from Dunbar High School. Many activities held her attention. Namely, crowned “Miss Dunbar”, she was a majorette and cheerleader with her baby sister, Myrna Loy as her Jr. majorette. Along with her two friends, Ruth Pitts, and Betty Price, they enrolled in Samuel Huston College, now Huston Tillotson University in Austin, Texas. She was a majorette for the Sam Huston Dragons.
Understanding her purpose and power, she pursued further studies by attending various colleges in Texas and New Mexico receiving various degrees and teacher certifications which allowed her to successfully, joyously, and tirelessly “SHINE” within the realm of her God given gift of being a nurturer. Rubia taught in the public and private schools of Texas and New Mexico for nearly forty years. Serving in various capacities to name a few, faculty representative, program coordinator, spelling bee coordinator, class sponsor, drill team, teacher aide supervisor, crossing guard supervisor, and the reading and language specialist teacher.
During the summer months, Rubia traveled throughout the world, returning with numerous pictures and pamphlets to enhance her teaching and engage her students in a broader knowledge of the world and its cultures. Rubia stayed active in many clubs and organizations. The International Reading Association, Alpha Kappa Sorority, Secretary of Huston Tillotson’s Alumni Association, President of UNCF Local Chapter, awarded The Outstanding Alumnus of the Year (National).
Rubia was the 2018 Huston-Tillotson Alumni Honoree (Class of 1954). Most recently, June 2023, Rubia was honored by the Dunbar Douglas Alumni Association for her years of service teaching at Dunbar. She served as Grand Marshall in the 2023 Dunbar Douglas Alumni parade held in Mexia, Texas. While growing up in Mexia, Texas, Rubia received her Christian education in the St. John A.M.E. Church.
Burning Bush Baptist Church was organized in her home under Reverend J.E. (Moses) Brown, pastor, and founder. She was a committed member who wholeheartedly enjoyed working and serving in many areas of the church reflecting her unwavering dedication to hope, love and faith in God and the community. She was Directress of Burning Bush Christian Academy/Day Care. Rubia was a member of Bible Way Baptist Church under the leadership of Reverend W. R. Smith. During her time at Bible Way, she enjoyed the choir, special events and gained encouragement from the WORD delivered by Reverend Smith.
Rubia was a sports enthusiast, specifically a Dallas Cowboys fan, an avid reader of her bible and the newspaper daily. She enjoyed listening to all genres of music, watching tv, solving crossword puzzles and phone calls with family and friends. She was known for lovingly giving useful advice, positive and uplifting encouragement and stressing the importance of education. You would be corrected if you mispronounced or misspelled a word in her presence.
Rubia was preceded in death by her father, Joseph Echols Sr.; mother, Ruby Faye (Crawford) Echols; brothers, Emerson W. Echols, David O. Echols Sr., Joseph Echols Jr., Richard E. Echols, Robert C. Echols, and Leslie H. Echols; sisters, Joyce M. Echols Johnson, and Myrna Loy Echols Winn.
To cherish her memory are her brother’s and sister’s children, David Echols Sr. children, Jerry Echols, Beverly Echols Gerald, and David Echols Jr.; Joseph Echols Jr. children, Joann Echols, Jackie Taylor, and Janet Redmond; Richard Echols children, Reginald Echols, Ruby Faye Echols Smith, and Brigitte Washington; Robert Echols children, Robert Batesand Rene Gilder, Joyce Echols Johnson children, Stephanie Johnson Baker, Stephen Johnson, and Sherri Johnson; Myrna Echols Winn children, Brent Winn, Milbray Winn, and Sidell Winn III; Leslie Echols Sr. children, Leslie Echols Jr. and Debra Echols Hatton. Also, to cherish her memory are Robin Dorsey and her children. Rubia also leaves to cherish her memory a host of grand, great-grand nieces and nephews and a great, great, great nephew Deon. Rubia had many cousins she was very close to who also cherished many memories of her. In addition, Rubia had a host of high school classmates, college classmates, colleagues, students, friends, and neighbors to cherish her memory.
“To God Be The Glory”