Floral 16

Dorothy M. Ruth

January 26, 1938 ~ May 9, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old

Dorothy Ruth Obituary

On May 9, 2023 Dorothy Mae Ruth, 85, of Severn, MD passed away. Dorothy was born on January 26, 1938 in Doswell, VA to John A. Wilkerson, Sr. and Virginia Smith. Dorothy was the fourth child born of four brothers and two sisters. She was a graduate of John M. Gandy High School in Ashland, VA.

In January of 1954, her brother Richard returned home from military training at Ft. A.P. Hill with his friend Walter C. Ruth. Unbeknownst to him at the time, he introduced Dorothy to her future husband. Three years later on February 2, 1957, Walter (20) and Dorothy Mae Wilkerson (19) of Doswell, VA were united in holy matrimony. Together, they raised 8 children: Dennis, Earl, Barbara, Stephanie, Walter Jr., Latonya, Anthony, and Rodney.

Dorothy gave 32 years of her life employed at Rosewood State Hospital in Owings Mills, MD. She began working there in 1968 and retired in 2000. She earned numerous awards and certifications during her tenure there while working with patients with significant disabilities. Her work ethic did not go unnoticed by management as she was elevated to the position of Head Dietician.

Dorothy was baptized at Guilford Baptist Church in Columbia, MD.  She later attended The Church at Severn Run where she became a member on October 24, 1999. Dorothy worked effortlessly with Vacation Bible School many years as it allowed her to serve people from various communities including her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It was one of the things she looked most forward to.

Following retirement, Dorothy dedicated her life to serving as the matriarch to both her immediate and extended family. Whether it was organizing a family reunion, planning for numerous holiday gatherings throughout the year, or simple Sunday afternoon family meals at her home, it was a rare occasion that Dorothy could not be found in the middle of the event. Dorothy was a dedicated family woman. She loved her family as Christ loved the church. Family was her passion. She was a great wife, mother and nurturer. Dorothy was a people person, very genuine, what you see is what you get. The Ruth home was a safe refuge for family, friends, and even at times strangers. She was well respected and an encourager to many. 

Some of our fondest memories are of her dancing with Walter. She loved music, shopping, and traveling. Dorothy could often be heard saying, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” With 8 children, 28 grandchildren, and 36 great-grandchildren, she could remember every name and birthdate of each child. Everyone knew without question that a piece of her heart was assigned to every card given and every well-wish extended. Walter was known for saying, “Don’t you know I’m the smartest man in the world.” It could be argued that Dorothy gave him a run for his money.

In the years prior to her death Dorothy was the primary caregiver for her husband Walter. She will be missed by all who knew her. Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband, Walter Carroll Ruth, Sr., oldest son, Dennis Eugene Ruth, father John A. Wilkerson, Sr., mother Virginia Louise Wilkerson, brother Edward Wilkerson, sister Louise Mason, brother Richard Wilkerson, brother John A. Wilkerson, Jr., brother Earl Lee Wilkerson, and sister Barbara Jean Wilkerson. Dorothy was the last surviving child of John and Virginia’s seven children.

Dorothy is survived by her seven children; son Earl Donnell Wilkerson, daughter Barbara Jean Martin (Chris), daughter Stephanie Denise Ruth, son Walter Carroll Ruth, Jr. (Florinda), daughter Latonya Yvette Ruth (Keith), son Anthony Dwayne Ruth, and son Rodney Darrell Ruth (Michelle); sister-in-law, Patricia Ann Wilkerson, sister-in-law Viola Angela Huff (Charles), brother-in-law Delanie Dupree Ruth (Laverne), brother-in-law Lloyd Marion Ruth (Toni), and brother-in-law Billy Gene Ruth (Betty Louise). Dorothy leaves behind 28 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren, a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and devoted friends.

A Viewing and Family Visitation Service will be held at The Church of Severn Run, 8187 Telegraph Rd., Severn, MD  21144 at 10:30 – 11:30 am.  Immediately followed by a Celebration of Life Service.  Interment will be at the Maryland Veterans Cemetery, 1122 Sunrise Beach Road, Crownsville, MD  21032.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dorothy M. Ruth, please visit our floral store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Dorothy M. Ruth?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Dorothy's memory.


May 23, 2023

10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
The Church at Severn Run
8187 Telegraph Road
Severn, MD 21144

Celebration of Life
May 23, 2023

11:30 AM
The Church at Severn Run
8187 Telegraph Road
Severn, MD 21144

May 23, 2023

2:30 PM
Maryland Veterans Cemetery
1122 Sunrise Beach Road
Crownsville, MD 21032


© 2024 Donaldson Funeral Home & Crematory, P.A. (Odenton). All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility