Maria Christina Rhoda, age 86 of Delton passed away peacefully and surrounded by love on Friday, October 6th, 2023.
Maria Pascual Perez was born on May 13th, 1937 in Mayaguarez, Puerto Rico to Maria Perez and Jose Pascual Ortiz. Preceding Maria in death are her parents; three older sisters; Melba Ruiz, Lillian Jimmenez, Luddy Diaz, and a brother, Jose, who passed away at a very young age.
Maria’s family made their way to the United States when Maria was around the age of 9, they resided in New York City through the rest of her adolescent age. Maria always aspired to be a registered nurse, unfortunately, due to an untimely diagnosis of meningitis she missed the opportunity to register for nursing school. After recovery, Maria went on to continue her education and enrolled in medical technology courses where she completed her degree and became an American Medical Technologist and worked at a hospital in NYC. While working, Maria met her future husband of 62 years, William ‘Bill’ Rhoda while he was stationed in the city serving for the US Navy. After Bill’s Navy discharge, the two reunited, married, and moved their life to Michigan.
After moving to Michigan, Maria continued her career at Borgess Medical Center where she worked for the next 36 years, retiring in 1997. After retirement, Maria took great joy in being outside at her lake home in Delton. She would frequently garden, fish, and loved a good cruise around the lake with family in the pontoon. Also an amazing cook, Maria spent time teaching her family how to recreate her homemade spaghetti sauce and delicious potato salad. Maria was also an avid fan ow watching her grandchildren participate in a wide array of activities – sporting events, band concerts, and everything in between, she loved getting out and cheering on her grands. Another important aspect in Maria’s life was her love for animals, she loved nature – watching deer in her front yard, hummingbirds on the deck, and relaxing at night with a dog on her lap.
Maria is survived by her husband, three children; Denise (Tom) Martin, Derrick (Michelle) Rhoda, Shawn (Theresa) Rhoda; 6 grandchildren: Michelle (Ryne) Germinder, Bryan(Jennifer) Martin, Amata (Pete) Chadderdon, Samantha (Ben) Munsell, Patrick (Maddy) Rhoda, and Jacob (Chloe) Rhoda; who combined gifted Maria with 8 beloved great-grandchildren.
In Maria’s final years of life she developed accelerating dementia. While Maria’s health deteriorated, she still found great joy in the art of music. Fifties tunes were a favorite and were frequently heard on a speaker when visiting the Rhoda household. Maria loved to make people laugh, she would dance and sing to her heart’s content. Her memory will continue to live on through her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Cremation services will be provided by Redmond Funeral Home in Parchment, Michigan. At this time, no further memorial services are planned. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made directly to Kairo’s Dwelling in Kalamazoo or the Alzheimer’s Foundation to help fight Alzheimer’s and Dementia.