Friday, August 8, 2003

Edith Mae Miles cared

In her 50s, was in Peace Corps

By Karen Andrew
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Mrs. Miles

Edith Mae Miles, who served five years in the Peace Corps, died July 31 at Mercy Hospital, Fairfield. The Wyoming resident was 69.

She was born in 1934 to Elbert and Alberta Croft of Kenner, Ala. When she was 8, her father died and the family moved near relatives in Hazelwood, which is now a Blue Ash neighborhood.

They later returned to Alabama and Mrs. Miles eventually moved to Detroit to stay with relatives while attending high school.

After high school, she returned to Cincinnati and attended the University of Cincinnati Evening College. In 1957, she married James Miles with whom she had attended school in Hazelwood.

Mrs. Miles' son, Quentin D. Miles of San Diego, said his mother was a terrific cook.

"Mom is known throughout this community for being able to cook all kinds of dishes, but she is famous for her banana pudding. If my mother had pursued a cooking degree, she would have been a chef," he said.

Mr. Miles said his parents decided in 1969 to travel on a vacation each year to various areas of the world and his mother brought back recipes from such locales as Hawaii, Japan, Russia and Liberia.

In 1982, Mrs. Miles joined the Peace Corps and served in the Philippines. She worked with the Baptist Church and taught English, reading and drawing to elementary-school children.

"She really came to appreciate what we have here in America because of the poverty over there," said her son. "But she also remembered the friendliness of the people in the Philippines."

During her Peace Corps stint, Mrs. Miles traveled on her vacations and visited such places as Hong Kong and China. One of her greatest memories was meeting Mother Teresa on a trip to India.

When her Peace Corps tour of duty ended in 1987, she returned to Cincinnati and became active in Mount Zion Baptist Church of Woodlawn. She also helped senior citizens who needed care, including staying with them overnight.

Mrs. Miles' husband died in 2000.

In addition to her son, survivors include a brother, Ray Croft of Detroit; a sister, Mary Francis Butler of Detroit; three grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.

Visitation is 9-10 a.m. Saturday at Mount Zion Baptist Church, 10180 Woodlawn Boulevard, with the funeral service at 10 a.m. Interment will take place in the Rest Haven Memorial Gardens, Evendale.

Memorials: Edith Mae Miles Scholarship, Mount Zion Baptist Church, 10180 Woodlawn Blvd., Cincinnati, OH 45215-1325


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