John Roland “Boots” Pyle transitioned peacefully into heaven on Monday, October 30, 2017, surrounded by loved ones. Born in West Chester, PA, on December 30, 1928, he was the only son of C. Roland and Carrie Cathrall Pyle. Roland got his nickname after toddling into his mother’s bridge club game wearing an oversized pair of boots. (He wasn’t known as John until qualifying for Medicare.) Boots helped his father and grandfather on their dairy farm and graduated from Kennett Consolidated High School in 1947, before serving in the Air Force during the Korean Conflict. On September 11, 1954, he wed the love of his life, Ruth Ann Lockard and together they raised five children, in Avondale, PA, Waukegan, IL, Elkmore, MD and Wilmington, DE. He worked at a variety of jobs, mostly as a salesman, and retired from Limestone Liquors. He was a member of Masonic Lodge #475 in Kennett Square, PA, the Kiwanis of Wilmington, DE and the Methodist Men at Wesley. Boots loved working in his woodshop, boating & fishing, being a prankster and “making a long story short”. But his greatest love was for his family, his friends and Jesus.
His parents and sister, Eleanor Pyle McKinstry, predecease him. In addition to his beloved wife, he is survived by his younger sister Barbara Pyle Strobel and her husband John, his children: Terri P. Reed, Deborah Pyle, William Roland Pyle, David John Pyle, Sr., and M. “Jo” Pyle Sauers. Their spouses/partners: Donald Reed, Barry Viscomi, Tracey Pyle, Charlene Losse and Michael Sauers as well as his grandchildren: David John Pyle, Jr., Ian Michael Pyle, Emily Elizabeth Reed, Mason Sauers and Katie Clark. He is also survived by his sisters (-in-law): Alice Lockard Francois and Margaret “Peggy” Lockard, and generations of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He was also blessed by the 82-year friendship of Willard “Chip” Smedley, of Kennett Square, who is like a brother.
Family and friends are invited to attend a memorial service to honor Boots on Saturday November 18, 2017 in his Christian home, Wesley United Methodist Church of Elk Neck, located at 41 Justice Way, Elkton, MD (just 2 miles from their home in Elkmore). The service will begin at 11:00 am, with calling 30 minutes prior. A luncheon will be held in the fellowship hall afterwards. Interment will be privately held at a later time.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Wesley United Methodist Church & Chapel. “Boots” would encourage each of you to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, as this act brought him great strength, peace, and comfort, knowing we’ll all meet again.