KNOXVILLE — Ruth Brown Vineyard, 88, of Knoxville, passed away on Tuesday, April 18, 2013, at Christian Care Center in Johnson City, Tenn., following an extended illness.
Ruth Brown Vineyard — many times synonymized as The Brown Twins with her sister Frances in youth while growing up in Pineville, Ky., and in turn followed them both to Knoxville where they became faithful members of Fifth Avenue Baptist Church. It was at Fifth Avenue Baptist Church where Ruth met her future husband, G.B. “Bowman” Vineyard. Her loves in life were her family, her church and her community.
A devoted member of the sanctuary choir at Fifth Avenue Baptist Church for many years, the Brown Twins were called to duet many times, this passion to sing still true to her final days. But raising four children took many skills which Ruth excelled in determination. She created many things for the sake of children and for the love of animals. Ruth also had an eye for cars. She and the family found an old Volkswagen Bus and restored it — even though it was one of many. Her eyes would be bright when the snow would lay on the ground as she loved to drive in it. This skill came in hand later as she started again a work career at Holston High School Cafeteria. She then spent 35 years raising two generations of children at the Fifth Avenue Daycare Center where she taught preschool and kindergarten and also drove the bus for many years. She was loved dearly by many of these children that knew her as “Mrs. Vineyard.” Ruth was a recipient of the NAEYC Knoxville Award during this tenure.
Ruth at home was close to all creatures. The family had an animal hospital where many times they were found fixing cats, dogs and other animals — thus instilling to her children and family the knowledge and ability to doctor and to care. A notable family story is one of a black snake which Ruth had taken to show-and-tell at the church daycare for the kids and the snake escaped. In the end, Ruth did catch the escapee. After retirement, she remained in her Holston-Chilhowee Community and later moved to The Villas at John Sevier where she and Frances lived for 10 years with many friends. She surrounded herself with the paintings and was a pro at puzzles, all with her cat “Blue” always nearby.
In addition to her husband, Ruth was preceded in death by her sons, Shawn Douglas Vineyard and John Tracy Vineyard.
She is survived by her twin sister, Frances Hinton Brown of Johnson City; daughter and son-in-law, Pat and Reverend Brent Seals of Johnson City; son, Charles Eric Vineyard of Knoxville; grandchildren, Robert Dylan Seals and wife Jennifer (Lewis) and Dana Seals Gillian and husband Ryan; great-granddaughter, Charlotte Jane Seals; special nieces and nephew, Clarita Vineyard Buffaloe, Mary Charles Salamone and Steven Brown; and her special friends in the Get-a-long Gang who enjoyed many outings together through the years. The family would like to extend a special thank-you to her friends at John Sevier Villas, Broadmore Assisted Living in Johnson City, and her personal physician, Dr. Vivian Clark.
A funeral service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 20, in the chapel of Rose Mortuary officiated by Reverend Brent Seals. Interment will follow in Lynnhurst Cemetery. The family will receive friends from noon until 2 p.m. Thursday, prior to the funeral service at the mortuary. Online condolences may be extended at www.rosemortuary.com.
Arrangements by Rose Mortuary Broadway Chapel, Knoxville, Tenn., (865) 523-2121.