HONOLULU (KHON2) — Gary Ruby is described as a gentle, kind and private person by some of his closest friends and family members.
Ruby also loved the arts, his long-time friends Edgar Antonio and David Ellison said they would accompany Ruby to the theater whenever they visited each other. They were hoping to visit Ruby in Hawaii at his new dream home.
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“We were just eager because, you know, that really was his dream,” Ellison said. “And we wanted to share in that dream with him, which adds to sort of our angst because we still wanted him to live out his days there.”
Ruby’s neice Maia Ruby-Clemmons said her uncle had a small group of friends, the majority of them lived out of the state and he had no family in Hawaii.
“He moved for a year or two to Los Angeles,” Antonio said. “But he didn’t stay very long. He went right back to Honolulu. And since then, that’s the only place he’s ever lived.”
Friends said Hawaii was his longtime home, he initially moved to the islands in the 70s. Many said he was the first to remember special occasions.
Ruby-Clemmons said, “He never forgot a birthday, anniversary, Christmas, he had something for the boys. And everyone always was pretty amazing.”
It was rare for him to miss wishing his brother a happy birthday this past February.
“That’s not at all like my uncle,” Ruby-Clemmons said. “And then the 26th, his birthday, there was nothing and my dad was unable to reach Him. So that was definitely a red flag.”
The details of Ruby’s death are troubling to them. They said they were not aware of a substantial relationship with the suspect, and they question the suspect’s claims of Ruby’s HIV status.
Ellison said, “First of all, we know Gary well enough that we, had he had been HIV positive, that would not have been something that he would have kept secret. There’s no shame among us about that.”
Police said the suspect told Los Angeles detectives he became angry at Ruby after he told him he was HIV positive. Police said the suspect also confessed to the killing and cover-up of the crime.
Antonio who knew Ruby for over 40 years said he also wants to make it clear that his friend worked hard to finally purchase his dream home. He was not a flashy person.
Antonio said, “Not extravagant. He didn’t flaunt it, he always saved. He worked very hard.”
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Family and friends held an online memorial for Ruby over the weekend. They said they choose to remember him as the loving person he was.
“He was very gracious and very loving and considerate of everyone else,” Ruby-Clemmons said. “I hope people take away from this that they need to be careful, they need to maybe hug their loved ones. Hold them tight.”
Ruby-Clemmons said the family is still discussing Ruby’s final wishes and where he will be laid to rest.