RHODES, MONICA JUNE passed away peacefully in her home at the Meadows with her family by her side on September 26, 2012 at the age of 93 years.
Monica was born in Nelson, B.C. on June 13, 1919, the second child of Francis and Anna Walsh, although she grew up in Vancouver. In the late ‘30s Monica moved with her family to homestead in the Cariboo. Unfortunately her father passed away within five years, leaving the rest of the family to do the work, which they took on bravely. Monica met Jim a few years later while spending winter in Vancouver and they could be seen touring the streets on his motorcycle with sidecar. They corresponded through letters until 1948 when they were married, and Jim moved up to Green Lake to join Monica and her family.
In the following years, three children arrived, keeping Monica very busy as she chose to be a “stay at home” mother. Baking, sewing and cooking from scratch were always her norm. When she had a few spare moments Monica’s artistic side surfaced. She took up painting, was very dedicated to her sewing, knitting, quilting, as well as caring for her beloved cats or dogs. This included the adoption of several stray cats over the years.
After a few years as pioneers, Monica and Jim’s life followed various placements with the federal government. In 1964 Jim transferred the family to Smithers. They built a home on Lake Kathlyn Road and enjoyed many years there.
Monica was active in church life at St. James, running the Thrift Shop and participating in Anglican Church Women for many years. Care of the earth and all of its inhabitants was always very important to Monica. She always tried to use homemade, earth-friendly cleaning products and re-use items instead of throwing them away. She also supported numerous environmental and animal related charities.
After nearly 60 years of marriage and with Jim’s health declining they moved into the then brand new Meadows Residence. Monica has remained at the Meadows, as a widow the past four years. She will be remembered for her feisty spirit, desire to be busy and useful, and keeping her flowers blooming.
Monica leaves behind her loving children: Roy (Cheryl) Rhodes of Telkwa; Annelle (Don) Reidel of Belleville, ON; Eileen (Larry) Steinke of Telkwa; Grandchildren: Katrina (Joel) Hamming of Kamloops; Janice (Edgar) Sanchez of Kelowna; Megan (Bryan) Stokes of Nanaimo; Ian (Jennifer) Reidel of Brampton; Karen Reidel (Ryan Matson) of Vancouver; Rosanne Steinke of Chile; Nadina Steinke (Tyrone Anderson) of Victoria; Damon Steinke of Smithers and Great Grandchildren: Chamyli, Brenna-Joel and James Hamming; Gabriel and Violet Sanchez; Olivia Stokes and Peyton Reidel. Monica was predeceased by her husband, James Rhodes; her brother, Francis Charles Walsh; and her sister, Doreen Steward.
A Funeral Service was held on Friday, September 28 at St. James Anglican Church with Rev. Daphne Moser officiating. Interment took place in the Telkwa Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family has requested that any donations be made to one of the two local animal shelters, the Northwest Animal Shelter, PO Box 3064, Smithers, B.C., V0J 2N0 or the Northern Lights Wildlife Society, 17366 Telkwa High Rd., Smithers, B.C., V0J 2N7.