Ruth and Henry Chiles in the orchard

Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Ruth Chiles

August 20, 2021  |  Carter Mountain Orchard, Chiles Peach Orchard, Spring Valley Orchard

Category: News

Ruth Eliza Dollens Chiles—wife to Henry M. Chiles and mother of Cynthia, Huff, and Sarah Chilesーpassed away peacefully on Friday, July 30, 2021. A third generation Chiles family farmer, Ruth was the heart and soul of Chiles Peach Orchard and Carter Mountain Orchard, both of which were founded by and under her direction for nearly 50 years.

Born in Charlottesville, Virginia, Ruth grew up in Midway and attended Greenwood High School before continuing her education at Mary Washington College. Ruth then married Henry M. Chiles in 1961 and quickly embraced the orchardist lifestyle. She served on several state associations and governor-appointed agriculture advisory committees.

Ruth worked alongside Henry since before they were married 60 years ago. On a particularly cold year where the weather froze out most of the crop, Ruth began selling peaches at a roadside stand. Nearly 40 years later, that roadside stand is now Chiles Peach Orchard on Jarmans Gap Road in Crozet!

As the first female member of the Crozet Lion’s Club, Ruth exemplified the Chiles family’s commitment to community service. She remained active in the Lions Club throughout her life and we still celebrate this connection today at Chiles Peach Orchard’s Annual Homemade Peach Ice Cream Days.  

On a personal note, Ruth was an accomplished pianist and enjoyed volunteering at Tabor Presbyterian Church as choir director and organist. Church members and family alike remember Ruth for her talent, sweet smile, warm personality, and sense of humor. Ruth put everything she had into raising her children and contributing to her community.

Ruth was the type of person whose light shone on everyone around her. While that light will be deeply missed, the Chiles family and our friends will forever honor her incredible impact on our community. 
Memorial gifts in Ruth’s name can be made to Tabor Presbyterian Church in Crozet, Virginia.

Ruth loved life and the people she surrounded herself with and dedicated herself to. She truly enjoyed spending time with her three grandchildren, who adored her endlessly. Ruth will be deeply and sorely missed by her family and friends, her church, and her community. 

The Daily Progress