December 16, 1930 – June 16, 2019
Reflection of Life
Esther Mae Rawles, daughter of the late Richard and Elsie Brown, was born on December 16, 1930 in Newburg, Maryland. She was educated in D.C. public schools.
Esther met and married James Rawles Sr., who was called to Glory at an early age. She knew she had to find strength through “God” to raise her children as a young, single mother. After raising her children and later becoming an empty-nester, she decided to continue caring for children. She opened her home and became a daycare provider for many of the young, working couples of the Benning Heights community and beyond (grandchildren included) from the late 1960s until the birth of her last grandchild, born during the 1990’s. Esther also volunteered her services on weekends to Children’s Hospital’s “Burn Unit” in the District of Columbia. After two years of unyielding dedication, her heart could no longer endure the sorrow. She knew the time had come to leave and redirect that energy. Once again, she found weekend employment, this time she chose Grant Park Nursing & Rehab Center. She stayed with it for about one year and decided it was enough. The biggest highlight for Esther was Monday through Friday, after putting the children down for napping, between the hours of 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, was soap opera time. During this time, her favorite shows were “The Edge of Knight, The Guiding Light, Search for Tomorrow, All My Children, As the World Turns and General Hospital.” At one point, two of the favorites aired at the same time, so she had two TV’s running at the same time and she watched them both simultaneously.
Esther accepted Christ as her personal Savior early in life, along with her mother, Elsie. The became members of the Metropolitan Wasley A.M.E. Zion Church in the early 60s where she remained a faithful member under Rev. McAuthor and later under Pastor Anthony Lewis. Esther served on the W.H.O. Missionary Society. She sang in many choir’s and was a faithtful participant of Sunday School. She also worked in the church kitchen.
She simply loved the ministry and her friends at metropolitan. She looked forward to picking up her crew on Sunday mornings (Ms. Washington, Ms. Davis, and Ms. Rosie. While Ms. Reena ad Ms. Inez were part of Thursday night choir rehearsal, along with Cousin Dolly (when she could catch up with him), they didn’t let any grass grow under their feet. This group of ladies had their fun!
Esther leaves to cherish her memories; one daughter; Bronnetta, three sons; Eugene Brown, James Rawles, Jr., and Ernest Rawles (a.k.a. Butch – Deceased). Ten grandchildren; Tonya, Rodney, Jason, Alicia, Ramon, Sherae, Angela, Jamea, Jasmine, Genene.
Esther had (6) sisters: Cynthia Magruder, (Deceased: Yvonne, Joyce, Shirley, Mary and Eleanor); (6) brothers: (Deceased: James, Robert, Robert, Richard, William, James B, and Robert); (2) Daughter-in-laws: Cynthia Rawles and Lisa Brown; (2) Sister-in-law; Kim and Patricia; 16 great-grands, 10 great-great grands; 32 nieces and nephews and a host of other relatives and friends.