Naomi Miles Mattheiss died in Sandy Spring, MD on April 22, 2020 at the age of 100 from the effects of COVID-19.
Naomi was born November 29, 1919 to Charles Philemon Miles and Harriet Brown Miles, the fourth of five children. Naomi grew up in a multigenerational family farm on the southwest edge of Baltimore. The Miles family grew vegetables and raised chickens and a cow. Their business, Mrs. Brown’s Salads, made codfish cakes (coddies) crab cakes, pickles, relishes and salads for sale to wholesalers and grocers. Naomi learned how to drive on a farm truck with manual transmission.
In the 1930s Naomi attended Western High School, where her English teacher recognized her abilities and encouraged her to go to college, as she was taking both academic and secretarial classes. In 1938 Naomi earned a Peabody Medal. With her secretarial skills, Naomi secured a position working in the office of one of the Deans at Johns Hopkins University. At the same time, she enrolled in its evening school classes. In a Chemistry class, she met her future husband, Theodore H. Mattheiss, Jr. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. Naomi and Ted were married in 1941 at Mount Vernon Methodist Church, where they had become members. Naomi began work at the church as Dr. Harold Bosley’s secretary while Ted worked as a civil engineer. During World War II, Ted served in Civilian Public Service as a Conscientious Objector and was stationed in Tennessee and North Carolina. Ted then became familiar with Quakerism by participating in the Wider Quaker Fellowship group. After the war, Ted studied at Duke University and received his Divinity degree. For seven years, he served in the Methodist ministry for in Maryland. Naomi had a beautiful voice and enjoyed singing in choirs. She and Ted sang together each night as they washed dishes, and gave a love of music to Joan and Dave.
After Ted returned to his career in engineering, the family began attending Stony Run Friends Meeting, and became members. Naomi taught at Friends School and then at Woodbourne Junior High School. In 1959, Ted Mattheiss became Executive Secretary of Baltimore Yearly Meeting, and Naomi accompanied him on trips to the Meetings spread across Maryland, Pennsylvania Virginia, and the District of Columbia. For a number of years she assisted Ted while he directed Catoctin Quaker Camp. When Baltimore Yearly Meeting moved its offices from Baltimore to Sandy Spring in 1970, they enjoyed living in their new home adjacent to Friends House, a new retirement community and near to both Sandy Spring Meeting and Sandy Spring Friends School.
After Ted’s death in 1979, Naomi led programs at Koinonia Foundation in Lutherville, MD. She then moved to Tennessee, studied and received a Master’s degree in Theology. A highlight of those years was her trip to Israel, visiting many Biblical sites. In the next 16 years, Naomi assisted her brother in ministry at his church in Williamsport, MD. She and her sister Vivian also provided counseling, food pantry items and clothing for those in need. In 2008, Naomi became a resident of Friends House in Sandy Spring, and delighted in the independent living community of friends she found there.
Naomi always believed in possibilities, and set an example by her work in counseling and encouraging others. Her family loved her dearly, and will treasure memories of her always. Naomi is survived by her children David H. Mattheiss (Robin), Joan M. Thompson (Éric), grandchildren Theodore H. Mattheiss III, Matthew G. Thompson (Courtney Rose), Joshua M. Thompson, two great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Her Memorial Service will be held later, when it is safe to gather. Contributions in her memory may be sent to Friends House at http://weblink.donorperfect.com/NaomiMilesMattheisstribute or to mdfoodbank.org.
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