Friday, July 8, 2011

Goodbye Grandma Rhoads

This week has been extremely tough.  This week we buried my Grandma Rhoads.  You go through so many emotions through the whole funeral process.  We had alot of good family time, which was great.  Yesterday I had a baby appointment for 'baby h'  and when the nurse asked if anything in my family history had changed I started crying & told them to put my grandma Rhoads as deceased.  Its really weird when it'll hit ya.  We have been SO thankful for the outpouring of love, cards, food & calls.  We were FLOORED when there were over 660 people at visitation alone.  It was so neat to know how special that lady was to not only our family, but so many others.  This week I've found myself wishing somethings.

  I wished my husband could of gotten to know the real grandma Rhoads & heard her infectious laugh. I wished she could of gotten to meet my son & give me advice as a new mom.  I wish we could of played another game of scrabble after a family event, even though most of my words are 'at, soon, etc.'  However, as much as I've wished in the past few weeks, I've been so thankful.  I am so thankful she made me eat the crust off my toast.  I am so thankful for her wanting us to come visit her every summer for a couple of days. I am so thankful for the times she'd ride bikes, or take us to the pool.  I am so thankful she set an amazing example of what a mom should be, that is why I think my mom was such an amazing mom. I am so thankful for all the sporting events she was able to make it to.  I am so thankful for making holidays so special at their house.  I am so thankful for the sixteen years I got to know her before the disease took over.  Thank you Grandma & we love you, more than you'll ever know!  

Below is three news articles recently printed.

Mary Rhoads (1933 - 2011)

Mary Rhoads, 78, of Ankeny passed away on July 1, 2011 at home with her family by her side following a long 13 year battle with Alzheimer's. Mary was born on February 11, 1933 in Clinton, Iowa to Robert and Leona Swanson. She was a lifelong resident of Iowa and participated in scouting, church choir, teaching, college registration and 18 years as a secretary in the House of Representatives. She was a resourceful, fun loving wife and mother, caring deeply about her family and friends.

Left to cherish her memories are her husband of 57 years Cecil; three daughters, Marce (Keith) Huhn of Nevada, Sandy (Mike) Macklin of Ankeny, Susan (Tim) Jennings of Ankeny; two sons, Tony (Jana) Rhoads of Ankeny and Paul (Vickie) Rhoads of Ames, 13 grandchildren, one great-grandchild and a sister, Gloria Izard of Vine Grove, Kentucky. She was preceded in death by her parents, and her brother, Robert Swanson.

The family would like to thank SouthernCare Hospice for their loving care.

Visitation will be held Tuesday, July 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. Both will be at the Ankeny First United Methodist Church, 206 SW Walnut St., Ankeny, Iowa 50023. Burial will be in Ankeny Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the Alzheimer's Association , SouthernCare Hospice or Ankeny First United Methodist Church.


Iowa State football: Coach Rhoads' mother dies at age 78

Mary Rhoads, the mother of Iowa State football coach Paul Rhoads, died Friday after a 13-year battle with Alzheimer’s.

She was 78.

Mary and her husband, Cecil, were married 57 years and had five children, 13 grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Her struggle with Alzheimer’s inspired coach Rhoads to help organize "A Ride To Remember," an annual event in which participants rode motorcycles through Ames in order to raise awareness of the disease.

When Paul Rhoads took over the Cyclone program in December 2008, Cecil Rhoads talked about the bond between his wife and son.

"They were so close," Cecil Rhoads said. "When he'd go uptown or something, he'd give his mother a kiss.

"It didn't matter if he was in front of his buddies, he still gave her a kiss."

The Rhoads family lived in Ankeny.

A visitation will be held Tuesday from 5-8 p.m. at the Ankeny First United Methodist Church. A celebration of life will be held Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.

Instead of flowers, memorial contributions can be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association, Southern Care Hospice, or Ankeny First United Methodist Church.


Overflow crowd attends funeral for Mary Rhoads

It’s pretty clear that Mary Rhoads touched the lives of many people.

An overflow crowd packed the Ankeny First United Methodist Church on Wednesday for the funeral of Rhoads, the mother of Iowa State head football coach Paul Rhoads. Several hundred guests attended the visitation on Tuesday night.

Rhoads passed away on July 1 at the age of 78.

“Mary didn’t have an agenda,” said Keith Huhn, Rhoads’ son-in-law. “Her agenda was your agenda.”

Both Huhn and Tony Rhoads, one of Mary and Cecil’s five children, spoke at the funeral. Tony praised his father for being Mary’s primary caregiver during her 13-year battle with Alzheimer’s.

Tony also told the crowd that he knew how proud Mary would have been to know that Paul had become the Cyclones’ head coach. He mentioned how much it bothered Paul that his mother was unable to attend a game during his first two seasons in Ames.

“But she’ll have the best seat in the house for the 12 games this fall,” said Tony. “No, let’s make that 13 games.”

*Articles courtesy of the Des Moines Register.


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