On November 29, 2022, the heavens opened, and angels sang as our Beloved Ruth Cedell slipped quietly away and joined the ancestors. Ruth Cedell Brower Mapp, daughter of the late Walter and Nannie Hackney Brower was born on April 30, 1933, in Siler City, North Carolina. She was educated in the public schools of North Carolina where she attended Chatham Training School. Ruth accepted Christ at an early age. She was an active member of the GEES Grove AME Zion Church in Siler City, NC until relocating to Philadelphia, PA.
In 1953, Ruth married the later Burleigh Francis Mapp, and from this union they were blessed with seven children. Linda E., Burleigh F., Richard O., Bruce A., Charles R., Bernita F., and Phyllis S. The family lived in West Philadelphia and subsequently moved to Southwest Philadelphia.
Ruth was a very caring, nurturing, and generous woman of God. One of her special gifts was cooking. She did this not just for necessity, but with joy. When she was cooking her daily meals for the family, those wonderful aromas filled the block and permeated throughout the neighborhood. Her cooking was an outward extension of the love she had for her family and fellow man. The children in the neighborhood would be outside and Burleigh would ask them if they were hungry. The answer was always, YES! Ruth would feed each and every one without hesitation. More importantly, she was famous for her homemade yeast crescent shaped rolls. Her rolls were legendary. All the neighborhood children loved her rolls and couldn’t get enough of them. Those same children grew up and continued to love and ask for those rolls along with her children’s friends. Ruth was asked to make them for family, church and friends functions. Whenever she was in Philadelphia there seemed to always be an occasion to make them. ). Ruth welcomed her children’s friends to her home and into life. She maintained friendships with them for years.
Ruth was employed as a childcare worker for the City of Philadelphia. She worked in city shelters at Callowhill Street and Stenton Avenue. She personally cared for children in the system. Sometimes, when the shelter was filled to capacity. Her capacity to love, compassion, and care for people always amazed folks. People took notice of her gifts. She would volunteer to bring a child or infant home to care for if capacity in the system was full or foster care found a home for them. Ruth was a devoted wife, loving mother and grandmother. She always said “all I got is my kids.” She like so many parents was very protective of her children. She and Burleigh Sr. believed in education. They enrolled their children in Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic School (one parent had to join the Parish until the children graduated). All of the children attended and most finished college. Shortly after they finished school, Ruth and Burleigh, Sr. joined Greater St. Matthew Independent Church (both joyfully sang on the choir with her brother Howard Brower of Philadelphia).
She retired in 1978 after suffering a heart attack at the age of 45. The challenges and circumstances of life had her and Burleigh, Sr. looking toward the next chapter in their lives. They decided to move back to North Carolina in 1983. Upon their return to North Carolina in 1983, she and her husband joined Corinth AME Zion Church. Ruth was a faithful, exemplary and working member who served in many capacities within and for the church. She served as President and later member of the Missionary, Stewardess and Senior Usher Boards. She was a member of the Senior Choir, Gospel Choir, the Deaconess Board and Lay Council. She also raised money for various church projects soliciting the support from the faithful and friends near and far. Ruth was a woman of God who stood in the gap with prayer for her children, extended family and the church. She was “a virtuous woman” Proverbs 31:10, a gift from above.
When you look at the totality of her life, she positively impacted many members of our family. Ruth “walked by Faith and not by Sight” 2 Corinthians 5:7. She loved her grandchildren. Some of the grandchildren spent Summers with her and Burleigh and their aunts. Others stayed through High School and College. Some stayed a couple weeks in the Summers. But all of them had her full attention and unconditional love during their visits and stays. Her love was of course extended throughout the family. She held 17 Family Reunions with the assistance of her 3 daughters and eldest grandson. She had a special love for people in general. She was an avid reader who passed her passion for reading onto her children. She enjoyed traveling and watching westerns/cowboy movie classics. Ruth loved to watch and discuss Politics; especially if there is a discussion on various news channels. She thought Politics was stimulating and a way to inform the masses regarding what was happening in the country. She participated in Voting and modelled that behavior for others in her family. As an avid VOTER, she claimed former President Obama as her son, as well as many other sons and daughters of Siler City. She always saw the best in individuals.
Ruth had a smile that would brighten your day. She managed her own life until she was 86. Widowed at 60, in 1993, she was thrusted into widowhood, knowing that since God was the author and finisher of her faith she could go on. Daughters Phyllis (until her passing) and Bernita were her caregivers until death. Taking care of her was a labor of love for them both. Their Mother was an integral part of their world. They came when she called, she would say “I need your help.” Everyone has an assignment. This was a divine one that was gladly fulfilled without hesitation. One that was given by God to them, carried out for His purpose.
Ruth Cedell Brower Mapp was the Matriarch of the Brower Family. She was the 9th of 10 children. All of her siblings, in-laws, aunts, uncles, first and second cousins, along with many nieces and nephews preceded her in death. Her siblings were Mary (Walter) Benson, Walter Brower, Lucy Brower Carr, Richard “Howard” Brower, Wesley (Lula Mae) Brower, Roland (Dorothy) Brower, Robert :Bob” Brower and Florence :Pete” *James “JD”) Fikes.
She was preceded in death by her husband Burleigh F. Mapp Sr., two son’s Burleigh F. Mapp Jr. (Toby), Charles R. Mapp (Charlie), and two daughters; Linda E. White and Phyllis S. Siler; and grandson Curtis J. Starks Jr. (CJay) unexpectedly preceded her in death.
She leaves to cherish precious memories: two sons, Richard of Maryland, Bruce (Stephanie) of Philadelphia and a devoted daughter Bernita (Curtis) of Philadelphia. Daughter-in-law Winnie Smart-Mapp of Philadelphia. Loving Mothers of grandchildren: Stephanie Mapp, Isabel Sampson-Mapp, Jessie Moise, Stephanie Degraffenreidt, Patricia Deloatch and *Angel Morton. A special grandson Andre (Susan) of Siler City and nephews Theodore (Charlene) of Philadelphia, Walter Benson, Jr. of Maryland. Her grandchildren: Andre (Susan) Mapp, Tori (Travis) Farrar, Anthony Donte DeLoatch, Jennifer Mapp, Rashida Mapp, Antwyn D.(Ashley) Mapp Sr., Angela Mapp, Anthony Charles Mapp (Rosanna), Ashley Mapp, Richard O. Mapp II, Chad Mapp, *Curtis J. Starks, Bruce A. Mapp Jr. (Myesha), and Amber Mapp. Her great grandchildren: Andre – LaToria(Tyreece) Turner, Aria (Earl Jr.) Womble, D’Ana Mapp, Jabari Dark, and Aamir Mapp Tori – Kye Degraffenreidt, L. Andre Degraffenreidt, Chris Farrar and Amber Farrar Anthony Donte – Brittany DeLoatch, Akira DeLoatch, Breasia DeLoatch, and Aniya DeLoatch, Anthony Charles – Alianna Mapp Angela – Ryan Middleton, Angel Harper, and Zani Harper Richard II – Ashanti Mapp and Autumn Mapp Bruce Jr. – Brooklyn Mapp Atwyn – Lymere Mapp, Antwyn D. Mapp Jr., Christian Mapp, Chrisette Mapp, and Victoria Mapp LaToria – Zariya Brantley, Elijah Turner, Harleigh Turner, and baby Luca Turner (due 1/3/2023) Aria – Aaricia Dark, Earl Womble III, and Easton Womble; special niece Rayetta Fox. A host of other relatives and friends; Spiritual daughter and hairdresser Hope Welch and Mary Lou Brewer, friend, Matt Zellner; and Godson, Jerry Fox.
The family will receive friends & family at:
327 E. 11th St. Siler City, NC 27344
***Repast following Cemetery at Corinth AME ZION CHURCH***
Professional Services of Love and Dignity entrusted to Knotts and Son Funeral Home-Siler City
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