Ruby Anita McCurdy Gaston

Ruby Anita McCurdy Gaston of League City, TX passed away peacefully on November 25, 2022 at the age of 84 while recovering from hip replacement surgery in Webster, TX.  Runita, as she was known by friends and family from infancy, was born October 8, 1938 in San Antonio, TX to Dr. Marion Wallace McCurdy and Anne Ayers (Lide) McCurdy.  Runita attended high school at St. Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, TX where she excelled in field hockey, soccer, piano and violin.  At her graduation ceremony in 1955 she played a violin concerto and was also awarded the French medal for academic excellence in language and literature.

At age 16, she traveled by the L & N railroad to join her older sister, Mary Anne, at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA.  While at Agnes Scott, Runita played both piano and violin in the school orchestra, joined the student council, was elected May Queen and was inducted into the Mortar Board honor society. Additionally, she was the president of the Agnes Scott Lecture Series, where she had the honor of hosting and introducing many distinguished speakers including Robert Frost, the poet who penned ‘The Road Less Traveled’ and Sir John Gielgud, whom many Star Wars fans would come to know as Obi wan Kenobi in 1977. Runita graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Agnes Scott in 1959 with a BA in English Literature.  Her 3 younger sisters, would also go on to attend Agnes Scott College.

Runita worked as medical secretary at her father’s EENT practice in the Nix Professional Bldg. in San Antonio and in a similar capacity at UTMB in Galveston and Texas City in the following years before her stint with The Galveston Historical Foundation in the mid 1970’s. She eventually became General Manager for the “Lone Star” historical musical outdoor drama production at Mary Moody Northen Amphitheater on Galveston Island. She spent many a summer night on site ensuring Annie Get Your Gun & Hello Dolly, to name a few, went off without a hitch.

In the mid 80’s Runita hung out her own shingle with Gulf Coast Secretarial Services on Tremont Street where she routinely proofread and edited med students’ dissertations along with running her husband’s psychology practice.

She retired in 1991 and was finally able to design and build her dream home on the 18th hole at South Shore Harbour Country Club in League City, TX, where she and Charlie spent many a hot afternoon on the course, cool evenings on the patio or garage entertaining friends and especially hosting holiday dinners with extended family.

Runita absolutely LOVED music (mostly classical) and passed down that passion to at least 2 more generations (so far). It was commonplace to hear the delicate sound of a dropped needle on vinyl and familiar crackle just before the opening notes of Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Beethoven and many others pumping through the stereo speakers late nights over the last half century. Along with music, Runita had a wonderful sense of humor and appreciation for the absurd, often laughing at the most inopportune times. This was definitely passed on and will be sorely missed.

“Nanny”, as she was called by her siblings and granddaughters, was a voracious reader and always gave books as thoughtful gifts even if the recipient wasn’t quite ready to appreciate them at that time. She was also a gifted Bridge player and enjoyed playing for 7+ decades including her final years at the Delaney, where she was always on the lookout for a new recruit.

Beginning in the late 80’s, Runita had the joy & adventure of traveling abroad to see & experience some of the places she always read about. She and Charlie flew to Shanghai, China for a Psychology Convention in 1989, Italy in 1993 visiting Venice and Lake Como (this being her favorite trip), France in 2001 with sisters Sue, Jean and Jane, visiting Paris and staying at le Chateau de LaMothe in the Loire Valley for 10 days (many chateaux tours, wine caves, great food, card games and music, with a piano nearby at all times), and finally London in 2008, accompanying her mother, Anne, and seeing ‘As you Like It’ at the restored, historic Globe Theater, site of many Shakespeare masterpieces dating back to 1599.

Runita was extremely generous with donations to her many charities and political causes, volunteered at local hospitals and libraries and helped fund 4 college educations during her adult life. She had a strong sense of justice and always empathized with the less fortunate, the underrepresented and was accepting of ALL people.

She maintained memberships in several organizations over the years, including General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Daughters of the American Revolution, Galveston Historical Foundation, Galveston Amateur Orchestra Club, various book clubs and the Ladies Golf Association at South Shore Harbor.

Runita was preceded in death by her parents and her loving partner of 30 years and husband of 18, Dr. Charles Owen Gaston, PhD PC.  She is survived by her son, Martin Edgar “Ed” Goode IV, and daughter-in-law, Kellie Anne Goode; 2 stepchildren, David and Elaine Gaston; 2 granddaughters, Meagan Katherine Lyssy and Elizabeth Ayers Goode; great-granddaughter, Scarlett Olivia Lyssy; 5 siblings, Mary Anne McCurdy, Sue Ayers Hosterman, Jean Alden Meade, Jane Anderson Vardaman, and Marion Wallace McCurdy Jr.; 17 nieces and nephews, and 33 grand nieces and nephews, of whom she was a great favorite.  She will be ever loved and missed for her intelligent counsel, and sharp wit. By whatever name you called her: Ruby, Runita, Nanny, Aunt Nanny, BOSS or just Mom, there will be a void in the lives of all those she touched, knew and loved.

Runita wished to be cremated and her ashes scattered privately. She considered her 80th birthday celebration in 2018 to be a farewell to family and a fitting memorial for her life and often remarked how she felt fortunate to have been able to actually attend her own service; to reminisce with, and be honored by numerous family and friends on that date and would spend hours flipping through the many beautiful pictures from that occasion.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making a donation to a charitable organization of your choice as Runita was a generous donor to many causes.


  1. So sorry for the passing of Runita. She was a good friend and a kindred spirit of mine in classical music, especially opera. We had many wonderful times on her porch and golf course and, of course, the garage. Condolences to Ed and the family.
    Love to all, Ann Shea

    Ann Shea
  2. Ed,

    What a lovely tribute to your sweet mother. So very sorry for your and your family’s loss. Our prayers and thoughts are with you during this time. May you find comfort in the many happy memories shared.

    Jody Collins
  3. Our condolences and it’s from the entire Gonzalez family, Runita always had a smile when she and I talked through the many years, and I truly enjoyed those conversations. So many great times at South Shore Harbour visiting Ed and in New Orleans at Jean Meade’s house.

    Chendo Gonzalez
  4. Such a beautiful lady. Always a pleasure to be around. Ed and I are good friends so I know this will be hard on him and his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    Eric Froeschner
  5. Runita was a wonderful person and I’m so glad I had the pleasure of knowing her. She was a great friend and mentor when we worked together in the first years of The Lone Star Drama at the Galveston amphitheater. We shared many fun times inside and outside of work. Mid-afternoon every day she would get a phone call from Ed, letting her know he was home from school. It was a short but loving conversation. Runita made a huge difference in many lives, including mine. Sincere condolences to her family.

    Sue Collier Reed
  6. Runita was my next door neighbor in Fairway Ponte Estate for many years. She was a wonderful neighbor and friend. So sorry to hear of her passing.

    Martha James
  7. Runita touched and shaped so many lives. I’m blessed to be one of those. I was fortunate to work with her at The Lone Star Drama. She taught and shared so much. A salad she always made is a part of my family’s Thanksgiving for the past 35+ years. Runita, you are now with Charlie again. Much love and thank you!

    Annette Triska

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