Rhoda died this past January, on Sunday the 24th.
Rhoda was the daughter of Phyllis. She had a difficult life from the beginning; born with a stomach obstruction. Rhoda had a sense of humor and was a really loving sister in her younger years.
After our parents divorced we moved downstairs. Financially it was such a hard time for our mother, that she said we would not have a Christmas Tree that year. Lo and behold, I was going outside to shovel snow and saw Rhoda dragging a Christmas Tree up the street. She had shoveled snow for other people to earn enough money to purchase a tree for our family. She was so proud and smiled from ear to ear.
Either that year or a few before, we girls (Helen, me, Rhoda, and Anne) went Christmas caroling as so many did in those days. When we arrived at one of the neighbor's house, the door opened and all of us could smell a horrible odor from inside. We started singing Silent Night. I swear it was one of the most memorable moments of my life.
My sister Rhoda as we were singing, literally could not help but sniff loudly after every few words. It went like this .......Silent Night...sniff, sniff, Holy Night...sniff, sniff, All Is Calm...sniff, sniff, etc. The rest of us girls tried so hard to hold in our laughter. I thought that at least one of us would wet our pants as soon as the neighbor lady closed the door.
Rhoda was ill as most of you know and had some problems with bi-polar disease. When she died of cancer, Helen, and Rhoda's son John were at her bed side. Helen had her cell phone on speaker talking with our Annie. She is now at peace. God and all our family up in heaven are protecting her now.
Dawn Coleman Walker
Picture One: Sue Kinsella, Rhoda Coleman, Pat Kinsella, 1962