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November 18, 1931 ~ December 10, 2022 (age 91) 91 Years Old
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Jane Noyes Rhoades passed away on December 10, 2022, after a long illness. She leaves behind her loving and devoted husband of over 68 years, Dale W. Rhoades, and their children Jay Rhoades of Lowell, Mark Rhoades (Susan) of Holland, Mary Jane Rhoades-Soucey of Cascade Township, and Peter Rhoades (Jill) of Holland, grandchildren Whitney Eckhoff (Ryan), Camden Rhoades, Christian Rhoades (Lydia), Ryan Rhoades, Hope Rhoades, and Charles Soucey, great-grandchild Amelia Eckhoff, and two nephews. Her brother Edwin Noyes and her son-in-law Eric Soucey predeceased her.
Jane was born in 1931 in Berlin, New York where her father worked as a farm manager. When the farm owner lost his farm in the depression, he paid Jane’s father in cattle, and the family relocated to South Berwick, Maine to start the dairy farm where she was raised. She spent much of her young life helping her mother care for farm workers, including cooking over a wood-fired stove and doing laundry on a hand-wringer washer. Her mother was also a teacher and instilled in Jane a love of reading and writing. Her parents stressed education, and in 1953, she graduated from the University of Maine, her father’s alma mater. During her senior year, she met Dale Rhoades while he was a lieutenant in the Air Force stationed at Dow Air Force Base in Bangor, Maine. A month after Dale met Jane, he told his friends that she was the woman whom he would marry. They married 14 months later and demonstrated unwavering love and commitment to one another throughout their 68 plus years of marriage. Shortly after they were married, they moved to Manchester, Michigan, where Jane taught school while Dale attended the University of Michigan Law School. After graduation, they relocated to Grand Rapids and then Cascade Township where Jane devoted her life to raising her children and loving her family. Her formative years on the farm instilled a strong work ethic, sense of responsibility, and grit which she modeled for her children every day. She was a wonderful cook, loving mother, grandmother, and wife, exceptional homemaker, and loyal friend, always tending to others’ needs ahead of her own. She was especially proud of her children and grandchildren and never missed an opportunity to attend their sporting events, concerts, and other activities. Later in life, she took up painting, usually using watercolors to depict nature. Always humble, she never thought much of her paintings; they now provide priceless memories for her family who will miss her dearly.
The family would like to thank Gentiva Hospice, Gauthier Family Services, and other special caregivers who provided outstanding care and support for Jane and her family during her illness. Memorial contributions may be made to Gentiva Hospice or the University of Maine.
A celebration of Jane’s life will be held at Mayflower Congregational Church, 2345 Robinson Road, SE, Grand Rapids, on Thursday, January 5 at 11 am. Visitation will be held prior to the service, starting at 9:30 am at the church. The family is served by Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Service.