OBITUARY: Ruth May Owens Pyles


Ruth May (Owens) Pyles: 10 Jul 1943 – 4 Apr 2013–69, of Capitol Heights, MD on Thursday, April 4, 2013, at Georgetown University Hospital.

Beloved mother of Robert (Melissa), William (Linda), Samuel (Doris), Charles (Elaine), Matthew (Jackie), and Christine (Carlton). Also two brothers, Leslie and Robert; 13 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and a companion of 30 years, Jake Rhiel. Preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Rosa (Beagle) Owens.

Friends received from 9 a.m. until services at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 11 at Cedar Hill Funeral Home, Suitland, MD ( Entombment in Resurrection Cemetery, Clinton, MD.


My family (Dickinson’s and McDaniel’s) first met Ruth Pyles when our daughter and son-in-law (Jennifer and Brian McDaniel) sought out a babysitter to watch their soon-to-be-born daughter, Kylie Brianne McDaniel.  It turns out in reaching out for recommendations from family and friends that Brian had first met Ruth as a boy when he and her son Bill went to school together.  Brian recalls that Ruth was strict with Bill and nothing got past her.  Next friends whose children had just graduated Ruth’s caregiving created the perfect placement opportunity for Brian and Jenny’s impending millennial baby.  Kylie was born August 10, 2000, and when Jen returned to work Ruth started her caregiving.  And another plus in this arrangement is that Jenny and Brian and Ruth lived in the same neighborhood.

And, two years after Kylie arrived came Aaron Christopher McDaniel–and then there were two!  By then, the McDaniels had moved to Calvert County.  But, Ruth was a loving, Christian woman who devoted herself to the care of our family’s children.  She was known to attend church daily and she often took one or both of them with her.

After moving to Calvert County, Jenny and Brian continued to have Ruth as the children’s caregiver.  The kids became so attached to her that she quickly became their adopted “Grandma Ruth.”  Kylie and Aaron loved her so much that often they wanted to stay with her on Ruth’s days off.  And, there were several overnight stays that I recall.  On one such stay, Aaron took ill and his temperature soared and Ruth took Aaron to the hospital and had the parents meet up with her there.

One of the biggest concerns of our family was how to best transition the kids from Ruth’s special care to pre-kindergarten daycare in Calvert County.  So, Kylie one year and Aaron the year after.  And the telephone calls, visits, and family invites to holiday and special events continued to include Ruth, who now was part of our family.

As the kids grew and their outside activities increased the special times with Ruth got fewer.  The calls continued though, and when Ruth was in the hospital for her first knee surgery the family visited her.  Between the families schedules, Ruth’s surgery and complications, and Jake’s caregiving, Ruth’s trips to Calvert County and McDaniel trips to Capitol Heights became more infrequent.

Yet, when the kids received the news of Ruth’s passing, they remembered her in their hearts.  And when asked to write out a few of their memories of their days with Grandma Ruth they did so immediately.  Obviously, Kylie, two years older than Aaron, remembers more about their early times together than Aaron.  But, Aaron still remembers the feeling of those special moments when Grandma Ruth would cuddle him–which was rare indeed–when Aaron would let people snuggle and cuddle him as a baby.

Our family only has the fondest memories and huge thank you’s to Grandma Ruth for giving her all and going above and beyond with our little ones.  We will truly miss her.

Guest Blogger:  Kylie Brianne McDaniel, Age 12–our granddaughter:

Kylie Brianne McDaniel and Ruth May Owens Pyles – July 2004

Kylie & G'ma Heart When I was an infant, long before I could remember, my adopted grandmother babysat me and my little brother Aaron. I don’t have very many memories of Grandma Ruth, but from what I do remember, she was a pretty great woman. We didn’t spend that much time together, but when we did, we had as much fun as possible. I have one memory of when I was about 5 or 6, and Aaron and I were sitting at her kitchen table, and she asked me if I liked chicken pot pie. Now I had never tried it, but of course me not knowing any better, I said, “Yes! I eat it all the time!” So Grandma Ruth made Aaron and I a chicken pot pie. I stuck my spoon into the steaming tin of chicken pot pie, and stuck it in my mouth and said, “Yum! This is SO good!” and after that, I needed ice-water because I had realized how EXTREMELY hot the pie was.

I have another memory of when I was 9 or so and Grandma Ruth came down to our house for the day. When she came she always had a little something for Aaron and I. This time she brought 2 giant-sized floor puzzles. Of course, I got the first pick. I didn’t know how big it was until after I had dumped the whole puzzle out on the couch and the floor. One of the pieces got lost somewhere and I never found it and I never told her because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings.

The last memory of her was when she would take Aaron and me to the dollar store down the street from where she lived. She said we could each get 1 thing but I always found a way to finagle getting 2. I remember her saying to me, “No more, or I’ll beat ya with a bag of oranges.”That was her mantra. She would always tell my dad, “I’ll beat ya with a bag of oranges!”

I still hear the sound of her voice in my head saying, “I love you,” and “I’ll beat ya with a bag of oranges!”

Grandma Ruth was supposed to come down to see me for my 13th birthday, a big birthday in her eyes. Now, she won’t get to be there in flesh and blood but I know she’ll be there in spirit. She’ll always be with me in my heart and I just have to remember that. The very last thing that I said to her was, “I Love You,” and the last thing that she said to me was, “Love you too, honey.” Losing someone is tough, but losing someone like her is WAY tougher.

By Kylie Brianne McDaniel; Age 12 1/2

Guest Blogger:  Aaron Christopher McDaniel, Age 10


I’ve been feeling so sad ever since Thursday night, April 4. My old babysitter (Ruth M. Pyles, A.K.A. Grandma Ruth) died in the morning. When I heard the news I cried my eyeballs out. I was so sad and so was my sister (Kylie McDaniel), and my mom and dad.

Grandma Ruth repeated one thing when she would get frustrated with us that soon became her Mantra: “I’ll hit ya with a bag o’ oranges.” You see, Grandma Ruth had sort of a southern drawl when she spoke. She would also ask us if we wanted to eat some “bisketti,” which was her word for spaghetti.

But Grandma Ruth was not lonely. Her man was Jake who became “Paw Paw Jake” to us. When she babysat me Paw Paw Jake was always watching a war movie. Some of the time I watched them with him.
I also remember that their house was lovely and smelled really good, especially when Grandma Ruth cooked for us.

I just wish I could have seen grandma Ruth one more time to tell her I love her and to say goodbye until I see her again in heaven.

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