Ruth (Missy) Nave Leibbrand was born November 23, 1928 in East St. Louis, Illinois when her parents we on furlough from the mission field. Her parents, Julian and Eleanor Nave were Methodist missionaries in India for 40 years, and took Ruth to India with them when she was 11 months old. Ruth grew up in India and attended Woodstock School, an American school in parents returned to the United States on a Liberty ship, taking 40 days to make the journey from Calcutta to Boston.
Ruth attended Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1946 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1950. In 1948 she met her future husband, Don Leibbrand, at the University of Minnesota. They were married in 1949 and son Steve was born in 1950. After graduating as a petroleum engineer, Don went to work for Phillip Petroleum Co. in 1951 and took his training program in Alvin, Texas. He was sent to Smackover, Arkansas and son Robin was born in Eldorado in 1952.
The Leibbrands were posted to New London, Texas and Odessa, Texas before Phillips sent them to Eastern Venezuela. That was the beginning of an overseas career with Phillip’s Petroleum International Department that lasted twenty-eight and a half years. They lived in Algeria, the Canary Islands, Libya, Iran, Nigeria, Venezuela (twice), Australia (twice – once in Perth and once in Darwin), New Guinea, Singapore, the Philippines, Colombia, Chile, and the People’s Republic of China. During these years, their sons went with them and attended American schools until the time for high school. Steve graduated from St. John’s Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin, and Robin graduated from the American School in Switzerland (TASIS) in Montagnola, Switzerland.
Don retired in 1985 and they settled in Lakeway, Texas. Shortly after settling into their home, they went to Karachi, Pakistan where they spent seven months on a job for Philips. Returning to Lakeway, they traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad over the next few years until Don was unable to travel. After Don’s death, Ruth remained in Lakeway until she moved to The Renaissance, an independent living community in Austin, Texas.
Ruth enjoyed ethnic foods especially and liked to cook. In earlier days overseas she loved to play golf, bridge, and to go snorkeling. She was a member of various organizations at Lakeway, including being President of the Lake Travis Republican Women’s Club, Chairman of the Expats group, the Lake Travis Republican Club, the Hill Country Women’s Republican Club, the N.W. Austin Republican Women, The Austin Newcomers Club, and now defunct investment club. She kept a voluminous correspondence with friends all over the world, first by letter and then by email. After living in over 50 houses and apartments, she always said that besides raising a family and keeping her husband happy, her main job in life was packing and unpacking, learning a new language and how to live and shop in each new country. Every new country was a marvelous adventure to absorb and enjoy.
Ruth was predeceased by husband Don, her parents, Julian and Eleanor Nave, and brothers Edward and Robert Nave. She is survived by son Steven and wife Peggy, grandchildren Andrew, Nicholas, and Ashley; son Robin and wife Elizabeth as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
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