Bowles, Mary Ruth Woodburn
Birth: Saturday, April 17, 1937
Residence: Great Mills, MD
Death: Thursday, December 23, 2021 at the age of 84
Laid to Rest: Monday, January 03, 2022
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Mary Ruth Woodburn Bowles, 84, of Great Mills, MD passed away on December 23, 2021 at her home with family by her side.

Born on April 17, 1937 in Leonardtown, MD, she was the daughter of the late Mary Ruth Norris Woodburn and Richard Dellie Woodburn. Mary Ruth was married for 42 years to the late Ralph B. Bowles, whom she married on October 28, 1961 at Holy Face Church in Great Mills, MD.

A lifelong resident of St. Mary's County, she was a devout Catholic and parishioner of Holy Face Church in Great Mills, MD and a past member of the Ladies of Charity. She graduated from Little Flower School in 1951 and graduated from St. Mary's Academy in 1955. In the fall of 1955, Mary Ruth entered Warflynn Beauty College in Washington, D.C. and graduated one year later.

In 1956 after beauty school, Mary Ruth went to work for Mr. Bill Temple of the "Temple of Beauty" salon in Lexington Park, MD. She would tell stories of doing the hair of Navy wives whose husbands were attending the Test Pilot School on the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. The salon was sold in 1961, and she went to work for Mrs. Elsie Ford, who had a beauty shop in her home in Town Creek, MD.

After Donna was born in 1962, she stayed home with her for about a year but really missed working. It was at this time she and Ralph decided to build a beauty shop for her at home. The shop was named "Bowles Beauty Nook" and was located in their backyard. Mary Ruth went back to work in 1963 and started working in the evening and on Saturdays and added hours as the business grew. It proved to be a very good opportunity for Mary Ruth; she wanted to work but also wanted to be home with her family. They welcomed two more girls, Lisa in 1970 and Karen in 1973. On September 26, 2005, Mary Ruth celebrated her 50th anniversary of working as a beautician. She considered all her clients as her extended family.

She had the gift of hospitality and enjoyed hosting luncheons, card parties, and holiday dinners, and enjoyed dancing and cooking. She loved camping with her friends in the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. In later years, Sunday dinners with her family became a cherished weekly event.

Mary Ruth is survived by her three daughters: Donna Voithoffer (Barry), Lisa Thomas (Jamie), and Karen Rowand and (Robert), and brother Francis Woodburn (Jean). She is also survived by her five beloved grandchildren: Eric and Ryan Thomas, Leah Voithoffer, and Lauren and Jenna Rowand. In addition to her parents and husband, Mary Ruth was predeceased in death by her sisters Janice Hayden and Erva Mae Woodburn and brother-in-law, Vincent Hayden.

The family will receive friends on Monday, January 3, 2022 from 10:30am to 11:30am at Brinsfield Funeral Home in Leonardtown, MD. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12:00pm at Holy Face Church, Great Mills, MD. Interment will follow at St. Joseph's Church Cemetery in Morganza, MD.

Memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of St. Mary's, P.O. Box 625, Leonardtown, MD 20650, the Second District Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 1, Valley Lee, MD 20692 or Little Flower School, 20408 Point Lookout Road, Great Mills, MD 20634.
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