Matriarch of Big Sky family turns 91

By Sarah Gianelli EBS Senior Editor

Ruby Delzer and her late husband Ralph, moved to Big Sky from a suburb of Minneapolis in 1988. Her son Dan Delzer had moved to Big Sky in 1974 “to be a ski bum,” and before long most of her brood of five sons and one daughter, would follow.

Ruby and Ralph came to Big Sky in September 1986, when her oldest son Stephen, a pastor, married Daniel and his-soon-to-be wife Suzanne in Soldier’s Chapel. They came out the next year to experience a Big Sky winter.

Their first year as residents, her son Peter and his wife Paula moved to Big Sky, and soon after, “son number three,” James, and John, “number six.”

In the early ’90s, the Delzers came out of retirement to start one of Big Sky’s first real estate management companies, specializing in snow removal. Delzer Diversified remains a family business today.

Although she lost her husband of 65 years on Father’s Day five years ago, her family has grown to include four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, with two more on the way.

For 30 years, the Delzers have upheld a family tradition of having breakfast together every Saturday. It began at Dick Allgood’s, and has since moved around between the Bugaboo Café, the Corral, and, as of recently, Compass Café.

“It’s up to the kids where we go because it was their idea,” Ruby said. “So they call me up on Saturday morning, tell me where we’re going and one of them picks me up.”

Ruby Delzer turns 91 on June 30.

Over her many years, she’s acquired her fair share of wisdom.

“Enjoy your life in the outdoors,” she said, expressing how happy she has been living in Big Sky. “See as much as you possibly can while you’re still able … boy when I got here, I decided I was going to be free to do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to it. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be here, but I told the kids I’m going to be independent as long as I can. I just want to keep healthy and keep going.”

Although Dr. Jeff Daniels told Ruby he does not want her driving the canyon anymore, she’s tempted from time to time. “I think ‘Oh, why don’t I just do it,’ but I don’t.” But you will still see her buzzing around the Meadow, and, if you want to wish her a happy birthday you can catch her playing bridge on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Big Sky Sewer and Water District office.