Barbara Ann Riggs Stiles went home to be with her Lord and Savior on May 24, 2019. Bobby Ann, as she was known to friends and family, is survived by her husband of 66 years, Sam Stiles, who also lovingly cared for her these last several years. Together they raised five children, Rob (deceased), Kathy of Gaithersburg, MD, Steve (Maria) of Berryville, VA, Chris (Lori) of Berryville, VA and Joy (Terry) of Canal Winchester, OH. One of her greatest joys was spending time with her grandchildren, Steven (Kim, Jacob, Elizabeth, Zack and Madeline) of Berryville, VA, Amy (Aaron) of Grand Rapids, MI, Adam (Melissa, Ali, Luke and Leighton) of Saint Johns, FL, Will of Jefferson, MD and Nathan of Clarksville, MD, Devin of Berryville, VA, Rachel (Dylan and Landon) of Manvel, TX, Mary of Charlotte, NC, Taylor of Berryville, VA and Michael (Gavin) of Winchester, VA.
Bobby Ann and Sam met while judging dairy cattle in 4-H in Montgomery County, Maryland. Both grew up on dairy farms, which were common across the county at that time in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Her family, Remus and Maude Riggs and daughters Mary Lou, Hazel, Bobby Ann and Joyce lived at the family farm in Goshen called Green Hills. Bobby Ann and Joyce took particular interest in the Holstein herd and helped with the day to day activities of the farm working alongside their father. The two younger Riggs sisters also enjoyed exhibiting their cattle at local shows. Bobby Ann went on to judge with the winning team from the United States at the international competition in England on July 4, 1951. As high individual she accepted the trophy from Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother as she would soon be called when her daughter was crowned Queen in February of 1952.
Bobby Ann’s love of farming and her desire to see her beautiful upper Montgomery County farmland preserved led her to work helping develop the Agricultural Reserve program which has protected almost a third of the county’s land resources, over 93,000 acres! Today over 500 farms remain in an area close to our nations’ capital where development pressure remains perpetual and intense.
All of her children remember helping with the many “down county” urban school groups she hosted over the years. She always made sure there was a wagon ride through the bucolic lower pasture, a pony ride and a little cup of fresh, raw milk from the farm milk tank along with seeing the cows, milking parlor and baby calves. Housing and taking 4-Hers’ animals to the fair for those who had no other way to participate along with teaching younger 4-Hers how to judge cattle were some of the ways she contributed back to 4-H and youth along with her many years serving as a 4-H leader.
As the farming operation relocated to Charles Town, WV in the mid 1980’s Bobby Ann began to step back from the day to day farming operation to help oversee the next wave of grandchildren. One of her favorite things to do was take road trips both back to Montgomery County and across the country with grandkids. She was a vocal and ardent admirer of the scenery on these trips, which was entertaining when she was a passenger, but distracting and terrifying when she was the driver! She loved entertaining and feeding her family and friends. Her apple pie with its flaky crust and flavorful fried chicken were everyone’s favorite and the secret ingredient for both was no secret- lard!
Bobby Ann and Sam attended Shepherd’s Heart Anglican Church in Fairfax, VA faithfully making the weekly trip most Sundays. She loved the Lord with all her heart, soul and strength. She prayed for each of her children and grandchildren that they would experience the salvation relationship with Jesus and the peace that only He brings. Thank you to the Shepherds Heart family for loving our mother through these last several years. Father Jerry Brown of Shepherds Heart will be presiding over memorial service at Wesley Grove United Methodist Church 23640 Woodfield Rd Gaithersburg, MD 20882 at 11 am Saturday June 1, 2019. Following the service lunch will be served. Viewing Friday May 31, 2019 6- pm at Barbers Funeral Home 21525 Laytonsville, MD 20882. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Maryland 4-H Foundation 8020 Greenmead Dr College Park, MD 20740 or mymaryland4hfoundation.com.