Helen Mathias Miles died Friday, October 20, 2017, at the age of 98 after a brief illness. Helen, a “come here’ who came to the Shore in 1921 at the age of 2, was the daughter of Allison and Bessie Mathias, who started the Mathias 5 and Dime store on the Shore in 1929, where Helen loved to work. In 1940, Helen married Keith “Abie” Miles and in 1950 started an Eastern Shore life on the Five Miles Farm near Cashville. She raised three children, Barbie, Kim, and Sammie, which led to two grandchildren – Chris Miles and Lexa Smith (Barbie’s children) and five great grandchildren – Austin and Breyden (Lexa’s children) and Roxie, Georgia and Olivia (Chris’s children), all surviving. Helen worked all her life, finishing up with a 15-year stint at NASA’s Wallops Island before retiring to take long sailing trips to the Bahamas with husband Abie during the 1980’s.
Helen was a devoted organist at Andrew Chapel in Cashville, a co-founder of Habitat for Humanity on the Shore, and editor of her mother’s autobiography and author of her own, “The Sparrow Flies South”. As frugal in lifestyle as she was generous to those in need, Helen was known for her canned vegetables, fine Eastern Shore meals, frank opinions, and energetic pace through life. She loved gardening, live theater, singing and playing the piano with her treasured niece, Jo Penland, and picnics on the lawn of the Five Miles Farm, where her son Kim and his wife Wendy now reside.
Friends and relatives are invited to stop by the Five Miles Farm on Breezy Point Road near Cashville on Saturday, Nov. 11th, between 2 and 4 pm to remember Helen and celebrate her long and productive life.
Memorial donations may be made to any of the following organizations loved by Helen, or to any of your choice: Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 1299, Exmore, VA 23350; Andrew Chapel UMC, C/O Darryl Bays, Treasurer, 11 Onancock Street, Onancock, VA 23417; or the North Street Playhouse, 34 Market St., Onancock, VA 23417.
Memory tributes may be shared with the family at www.williamsfuneralhomes.com.
Arrangements by the Williams-Onancock Funeral Home.