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Ruth Smallwood
Sweet

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July 25, 1955- April 5, 2024

Ruth Smallwood Sweet (she/they), 68, of Gaithersburg, MD, passed away on April 5, 2024.  Born on July 25, 1955 in Washington, D.C., she was the daughter of the late James Machen and Iva (Woodward) Smallwood. Ruth was predeceased by her sister Annie McLoughlin. She is survived by her adoring husband, Mark Sweet (whom she also adored); her two daughters, Haley and L. Sweet, whom she loved very much; her daughter-in-law, Jennifer Roth; her brother, Robert Smallwood; her brother-in-law, Jim Sweet; and her mother-in-law, Betty Sweet. Ruth is also survived by a large chosen family—some of whom considered her a mother—and a community of beloved friends.  

 

Ruth was a whirlwind. She was known in her church (Darnestown Presbyterian), amongst dog trainers (Breakaway Action Dogs), and her many peers and communities for her boundless energy and endless curiosity. She offered a font of warmth, care and love to those around her, and was a firebrand when provoked. Ruth was an avid reader, loved science fiction, and loved to tell a story and share a laugh. She loved coffee, and hated fascists.

 

Ruth was a mentor and leader in her church. One person referred to her as "the resident theologian" because of her deep knowledge and embodied practice of her faith.  She went back to school as an adult and completed a B.A with a double major in Philosophy and Theology from Hood College in 2014. Before she developed Glioblastoma, she was working on a post-baccalaureate certificate in Spiritual Formation through the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Ruth was an award-winning dog trainer and worked as a dog training instructor at Breakaway Action Dogs (BAD). She always liked to say that she was all about “God, and God spelled backwards.” 

 

The family will be receiving friends on Friday, April 12th, from 5:00 - 7:00 PM at Hilton Funeral Home, 22111 Beallsville Rd, Barnesville, MD 20838. The family will also be receiving friends from 11:30 AM -12:30 PM, on Saturday, April 13th, at the Darnestown Presbyterian Church, 15120 Turkey Foot Rd, Gaithersburg, MD, where a funeral service will begin at 12:30 PM. The burial will take place in the church cemetery, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Trevor Project or GLSEN.

Visitation

Friday, April 12, 2024

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Hilton Funeral Home

22111 Beallsville Road

Barnesville, MD 20838

Visitation

Saturday, April 13, 2024

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Darnestown Presbyterian 

15120 Turkey Foot RD

 Gaithersburg, MD 20878

Service

Saturday, April 13, 2024

 12:30 PM

Darnestown Presbyterian 

15120 Turkey Foot RD

 Gaithersburg, MD 20878

Graveside

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Following the service 

Darnestown Presbyterian 

15120 Turkey Foot RD

 Gaithersburg, MD 20878

CONDOLENCES

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From: Dale and Terrie May

Mark, Haley, and L, our deepest sympathy to you all. Ruth was a mentor and inspiration to us and our daughters. It was a blessing to have known her. We will miss her greatly. Thank you for sharing her with us and all of DPC.

From: The Hilton Family

Our deepest condolences to your family. 

From: Jayson Trenbeath

Mark and family, I am very sorry for your loss. Ruth was a special lady, she always made me feel welcome during visits or family celebrations. I am lucky to have met her. Jayson Trenbeath Martinsburg, WV

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